LinkedIn Acquires SaaS Provider mSpoke

Looking to improve engagement on its social network, LinkedIn acquires a startup offering a cloud-based recommendation engine designed to personalize content delivery.

LinkedIn, the popular social network geared for professionals, has acquired startup mSpoke, a company that offers a cloud-based recommendation engine designed to make online content more relevant. Financial terms weren't released.

The three services powered by the main mSpoke engine, or "spokes," are mPower, mSense and mTrend.

mTrend is a monitoring tool designed to help companies keep track of competitors and trends online. mPower uses advanced machine-learning technology to deliver relevant content to users based on what they're already reading and user preferences. mSense is a metadata analysis service designed to help publishers enhance the "findability" of their content and improves content recommendations.

LinkedIn said it plans to leverage mPower's technology and expertise to enhance its professional network, which now numbers more than 75 million users globally.

"mSpoke and LinkedIn's shared focus on generating relevant content make this acquisition a natural fit for us," LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in a statement. "We're actively investing in solutions that help deliver valuable professional insights to LinkedIn members. The addition of mSpoke's talented team of technologists make it an even more compelling opportunity for LinkedIn."

Analyst Ben Bajarin said LinkedIn stands to benefit from any service that keeps users on its site longer with more relevant information.

"All of these social network sites need to provide value," Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies told "If it's something users check once in a while and move on, then it's more of an accumulating eyeballs play, but what LinkedIn really wants is for people to spend time and be engaged at the site, whether they are job-seekers or potential employers."

Dean Thompson, one of mSpoke's three co-founders, said the two companies share a similar vision.

"Both LinkedIn and mSpoke are passionate about generating relevancy from the rich stream of content being created by our members," he said in a statement. "We're looking forward to joining the team and helping provide useful recommendations that help professionals tackle problems quickly and more efficiently."

LinkedIn said the mSpoke team has "deep ties with Carnegie Mellon University," which is known for its work in advanced computer science technologies.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

Tags: cloud computing, cloud services, social networking, SaaS, LinkedIn

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