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LinkedIn Debuts "Channels" in Revamp of LinkedIn Today


Two years ago, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Today, a digital newspaper that compiles stories from around the Web based on what a user's connections and industry peers are reading. On Wednesday, the professional networking site unveiled a redesign of the news site with a refreshed look and a new content discovery feature called Channels.

Through Channels, people can follow more than 20 broader topic areas crossing over different industries, including Your Career, Economy, Social Impact, Big Ideas, Innovation, and Higher Education, with more to come over time. Once someone begins following a channel, they automatically get updates directly to their home page feed on the desktop.

The revamped LinkedIn Today also incorporates the Influencer blog network the company introduced last fall. Along with channels, users can now also access tabs at the top of the page to see a list of all 250 Influencers and top Influencer posts of the day from Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson and Meg Whitman.

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The Decline of Social Media Impact

With the introduction of social media a decade ago, businesses and companies gained a powerful new marketing tool. They were now able to interact with customers and network with other businesses to spread the word about who they were and what they had to offer. A comment, question or concern would be directly addressed with a tailor made response that was unique to that specific person. Consumers knew they could find the answers for the questions they had simply by visiting a social media site.

This was considered serendipity! The one-on-one interaction was a new marketing tool that would help businesses and brands reach the top of their game because of the ability to directly reach those interested in what they had to offer.

Fast forward six years....

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Is Yahoo's Marissa Mayer about to Acquire Tumblr for $1 Bn?


In a deal that would vault Yahoo into the premiere league of social media, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is said to be closing in on a $1 billion acquisition deal with David Karp, the CEO of New York-based Tumblr.

Details of the talks leaked out earlier Thursday via AllThingsD, a site which prides itself on its Yahoo sources in particular. A later report in AdWeek, via its own sources, cited $1 billion as the figure currently under discussion. Coincidentally, that is said to be the valuation Tumblr was going to get at its next funding round.

Both sites were cautious to emphasize that the talks could come to naught. Mayer is clearly interested; she's known and admired Karp's New York-based site for years. Tumblr and its 107 million microblogs would add another 15 billion pageviews a month to Mayer's hoard. Most important of all, it could make Yahoo look cool again.

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LinkedIn Turns 10; Identity Crisis?


LinkedIn wants to become a content publishing platform. Will this transformation destroy its value to advertisers and turn it into a Facebook clone?

In the last six months, LinkedIn has made a spate of product enhancements and delivered new ad formats, notably video ads, introduced in October 2012, and SlideShare Content Ads that let advertisers deliver SlideShare presentations into banner space on the site. Another advertiser-friendly move was opening up LinkedIn's APIs, so brands can manage their ads without having to log in to LinkedIn's platform.

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Facebook to Buy Israeli "Waze" for Up to $1 Bn?


(Reuters) - Facebook Inc is in advanced talks to acquire Israeli mobile satellite navigation start-up Waze for $800 million to $1 billion, business daily Calcalist reported on Thursday.

The deal, which would be Facebook's largest acquisition, would give the social networking company a mapping service and allow it to better compete with Google Inc and Apple Inc.

Maps and navigation services have become a key asset for technology companies as consumers increasingly adopt smartphones and other mobile devices.

Waze uses satellite signals from members' smartphones to generate maps and traffic data, which it then shares with other users, offering real-time traffic info.

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