Microsoft bought LinkedIn because LinkedIn could not give users what Microsoft can give them once they combine
- Meeting on LinkedIn
- Chatting on Skype
- Planning on MS Project
- Collaborating on Teams using Office 365
LinkedIn failed to serve any true business purpose / any integrated business processes. Microsoft saw that it had a business case and the cash to make the synergies happen!
LinkedIn as a standalone was destined to be taken over. It had no process integration with businesses. Just think of how Microsoft’s CRM can suddenly make B2B Marketing on LinkedIn transparent. It creates room for what Microsoft failed to create all along: A walled garden for advertising. And it is — well it could be — the lucrative B2B advertising market if they do it right. The tools are there at BING. I am sure they will use them within LinkedIn!
I cannot tell if letting Yammer die a slow death or using it as a background layer to LinkedIn as an add-on benefit for intra-company communication is better, now that they got Teams.
But one thing is for sure: Microsoft did not spend 26 billion USD on a single guy with a struggling use-case and no way to go except Merger and Acquisition specialists!
They spent those 26 billion because if they successfully knit together their patchwork offerings with the social platform the synergies will pay off triple or more in competing with Google, SAP and Salesforce — the latter was my first pick for buying LinkedIn (as you can tell from the article I linked above). If they tried, they failed. If they never thought of it, they will probably pay dearly one day.