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May 23, 2013

LinkedIn Takes it to the Polls

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Social networking mega site LinkedIn (News - Alert), a place where both employers and those in search of a new job flock to connect, has continued to make moves faster than some of the greatest athletes in sports right now can. Its latest step forward has been the pretty quiet yet completed acquisition of Maybe, a social polling startup spearheaded by Omar Hamoui.

Does that name sound familiar to you? If so, it is because Hamoui is credited for creating, managing and then getting rid of AdMob (News - Alert), a mobile ad organization, who was bought by Google for a cool $750 million.Hamoui isn’t going anywhere this time it seems, as him in addition to his staff, four engineers and one designer in total, have just relocated to LinkedIn headquarters and have filled positions within the mobile segment of the search giant.

Due to the fact that the doors appear to have been shut on Maybe for the long term, many are questioning the reasons that lead to the operation being placed under the chopping block. A recent report asked the following questions in relation to the closure:

  • Maybe it was because the polling space is so crowded?
  • Maybe it was because Hamoui is working on something else?
  • Maybe it was because LinkedIn made it an offer it couldn’t refuse?

While LinkedIn has yet to release an official statement about its purchase of the polling firm, only time will tell how the newly acquired assets of the company benefit it as well as its worldwide consumer base.

“Although we had plenty of cash of in the bank, we were really impressed with the team and vision at LinkedIn,” added Hamoui in a statement. “Having the excellent mobile focused team we had built join them was clearly a way to have the kind of impact we were hoping for.”

It was earlier this month that LinkedIn blew out the candles on its 10th birthday cake. And according to Senior Editor Peter Bernstein, over this period it has “proven to be an invaluable business tool. However, what is most remarkable is how it carved out as space that has in many ways usurped the value of the job boards like Monster and Indeed. It filled a critical hole in what was then the emerging social network space dominated prior to Facebook by Friendster and MySpace (News - Alert), and developed an entire new category.”

Bernstein added, ”By enabling relationship building, LinkedIn gave job seekers access to the unadvertised possibilities. This is critical, as an outplacement specialist friend has told me that roughly 90 percent of their successes come from networking and not from sending resumes to job sites, be they third party ones or companies’ websites. Plus, this is a two-way street where hiring managers can gain access to a significant amount of information by looking at an individual’s skills, references and reputation along with their public description of their job history.”

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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