LinkedIn has agreed to buy Pulse, a newsreader app that aggregates online sources, including your social networks, for $90 million. Not bad for the two Pulse founders who met while students at Stanford in 2010.

Pulse is similar in nature to Zite and Flipboard, though I have never found its interface as pleasing or it’s setup as easy to use.

Owen Thomas (@owenthomas) at ReadWriteWeb says with Pulse, LinkedIn is a media company, becoming the Newspaper of the future.

Increasingly, LinkedIn wants to broaden how users think of it beyond job-hunting. Already, LinkedIn publishes articles by high-profile business figures like Virgin chief Richard Branson and Buddy Media founder Michael Lazerow.


That means bringing in a wide variety of sources — a layer of original, exclusive, high-end articles on top; links to relevant business items from around the Web in LinkedIn Today; and user contributions in LinkedIn Groups and profile updates. The only problem LinkedIn has on its current website is that its tools for reading, saving, and sharing content leave something to be desired. That’s where Pulse comes in.

Like newspapers, LinkedIn generates revenue from advertising and subscribers, per Thomas.

[LinkedIn’s] mix of display advertising, classifieds, and subscriptions, all riding on top of one core product, reminds me of the newspaper business model of old, back when that was a highly profitable business.

Thomas misses a key point when it comes to newspapers. Newspapers are network.

A newspaper reflects both what is taking place in its community and seeds discussion in its community. The community, served by a newspaper’s content, is a network where people and businesses engage to transact business, get to know each other, and support common causes.

I could hardly imagine my hometown where I grew up and practiced law without our newspaper — not as the primary source of news, but as the ‘thing’ that fueled engagement within our community.

LinkedIn product chief, Deep Nishar (@deepnishar), blogging on LinkedIn’s acquisition of Pulse talks not of traditional media, but of true networking.

We believe LinkedIn can be the definitive professional publishing platform – where all professionals come to consume content and where publishers come to share their content. Millions of professionals are already starting their day on LinkedIn to glean the professional insights and knowledge they need to make them great at their jobs. We believe we can help all professionals make smarter and more informed business decisions leveraging all the great business knowledge flowing through LinkedIn in the form of news, Influencer posts, industry updates, discussions, comments and more.

Pulse is a perfect complement to this vision. Pulse’s core value proposition is to help foster informed discussions that spark the decisions shaping the world around us through news and information. This shared view that the power of professional information and knowledge can transform lives and the world makes LinkedIn and Pulse a particularly great fit.

Sharing content. Gleaning insight and knowledge to make professionals great. Discussions. Comments. Transforming lives.

Powerful concepts. Something far greater than content merely published by a media company.

With the advent of the Internet, and later, blogging, I have viewed content as the currency of engagement.

Rather than tracking content by traffic and views, view content as your means of growing building relationships and enhancing your word of mouth reputation. Content is just the currency used to reach the end, not the end in and of itself.

Our LXBN Network has 8,000 lawyers publishing to just shy of 1,000 blogs. We’re adding blogs and lawyers every week.

As LinkedIn advances in its use of content as a means of networking, I don’t see our network, member blog publications, or any other engaging publications going away. I see blogs and our network as becoming even more important.

With Pulse, LinkedIn becomes an even more powerful network by harnessing our content as a currency of engagement. Networking at its finest.

If LinkedIn is becoming the newspaper of the future, let’s keep in mind that newspapers are a network where businesses and people engage each other.