August 5, 2010

LinkedIn Makes Deal For Data Mining Company mSpoke

Social networking service LinkedIn announced Wednesday it is making its first acquisition -- a startup that specializes in seeking out valuable information from piles of digital data.

Financial details of the purchase of Pittsburgh-based mSpoke have not been disclosed, but the deal marks the first purchase for LinkedIn after it was launched in California in 2003.

LinkedIn hopes mSpoke will help to improve the company's ability to filter messages and news articles that its users share on its network. According to various media outlets, MSpoke also will improve LinkedIn's recommendation engine, which flags people, jobs and other insights about LinkedIn's members, LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner said.

"MSpoke and LinkedIn's shared focus on generating relevant content make this acquisition a natural fit for us," said Weiner. "There is considerable R&D going into this."

Privately held LinkedIn makes money from advertising and premium services. It does not disclose its financial results, but Weiner said the company's revenue growth has accelerated and profit has risen this year.

The two founding members of mSpoke will join LinkedIn too, Weiner said.

"As we spent time with the LinkedIn team, we were struck by how similar our visions are," said mSpoke co-founder Dean Thompson.

"We're looking forward to joining the team and helping provide useful recommendations that help professionals tackle problems quickly and more efficiently," he told AFP.

LinkedIn has added roughly 10 million new members since April, with the social network now counting more than 75 million members from 200 countries, including every Fortune 500 company.


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