Microsoft has announced it has sold its SlideShare tool. Scribd has purchased the service and will take over all operations from September 24. This news was surprising to many who did not know Microsoft owned the company in the first place.
For me, the surprise is more that Microsoft never found a purpose for SlideShare. A couple of years ago, Microsoft shut down its Docs.com file sharing system and seemed to be pushing towards SlideShare and OneDrive.
It looks as though that push was short lived as Microsoft has done little with the service since. Perhaps Microsoft could have found a use for the platform by integrating it with Office 365. SlideShare may have made for a decent tool baked into apps like Microsoft Word.
Either way, it makes some sense for Scribd to acquire the company. You may remember Scribd was once a dedicated document sharing tool too, before transitioning to eBook and audiobook hosting.
“The two products always had kind of similar missions,” said Scribd CEO Trip Adler. “The difference was, [SlideShare] focused on more on PowerPoint presentations and business users, while we focused more on PDFs and Word docs and long-form written content, more on the general consumer.”
SlideShare was acquired by LinkedIn back in 2016. Of course, LinkedIn was then purchased by Microsoft in a $26 billion deal back in 2016.
While the sale is being handled by Microsoft, it was announced on LinkedIn. Vice President of Engineering for LinkedIn, Chris Pruett, says the company tried to bring SlideShare closer to the network.
“LinkedIn acquired SlideShare in May 2012 at a time when it was becoming clear that professionals were using LinkedIn for more than making professional connections. Over the last eight years, the SlideShare team, product, and community has helped shape the content experience on LinkedIn. We’ve incorporated the ability to upload, share, and discuss documents on LinkedIn.”
No price has been disclosed for the acquisition.