LinkedIn Launches Their Own LMS

In 2015 LinkedIn purchased Lynda.com, a premier provider in online training. The courses they offer are some of the best around and so are some of their instructors.

It cost LinkedIn a hefty $1.5 billion to take over the platform. After laying low for some time we are now seeing a new major way that LinkedIn plans to use their new asset: integrating it into LinkedIn Learning.

Essentially this integration allows users to integrate their own custom courses into the platform, so whether courses are from Lynda, custom, or developed by third parties, they are all accessible from LinkedIn Learning.

This represents a fundamental shift for LinkedIn. No longer are they simple a content provider but the technology stack makes them a learning management system of sorts. The idea is to help cut the cost of content creation for businesses.

It is reported that the custom content will only be viewable by an organization’s employees. There will be a level of reporting tools as well and the ability to set-up learning paths. Social learning aspects like commenting, liking, and sharing will be there too (leveraging what already exists in LinkedIn).

Does this represent a shift in LinkedIn’s purpose?

This is a fascinating direction for LinkedIn. It appears to piggy-back off of what already existed at Lynda.com, and that’s the ability to hand-pick content that exists on the system already to cut down on the development and technological costs.

It also appears to be the potential beginning of a shift in LinkedIn’s purpose.

The other day I was logged into my own LinkedIn account and found myself questioning its utility. It’s functionality seems a tad dated now compared to other social networks. I also find that I get more spam messages on LinkedIn than anywhere else.

Perhaps leadership was sensing that their product was going stale and that they needed to change focus a bit in a way that is unique to them. Certainly we aren’t going to see a successful Facebook LMS anytime soon.

The bigger question of course is if this is going to work or not?

I think it’s too early to tell. I know that is an easy answer to give but honestly this is still in the very early stages. I think LinkedIn has a heck of a mountain to climb in marketing their LMS. Especially since they won’t be the only ones with custom & informal content libraries (Cornerstone, Skillsoft, and others have had this for years).

Nonetheless, it’s interesting news to follow and something I will be watching closely in the coming months.

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

2 Responses

  1. Or Degreed, which allows the learner to keep their learning profile despite who they work for (while controlling access to Organizational specific content), and gives them access to books, podcasts, videos, and articles (free and paid), and allows L&D teams to aggregate new data like skills, talents, informal learning experiences. I view this as the future of corporate learning platforms.

  2. Keep in mind that MS owns Linkedin. If you look at their business model for software products that are not OS, their history of being innovative for the marketplace is dismal. They had a CRM product that was better than Siebel’s, and yet they did not know what to do with it and how to make it the most wanted in sales, which allowed Salesforce to take over. Keep in mind, Salesforce had a tough time taking off because they lacked functionality.

    MS is too large of a company and not nimble enough to make an LMS that everyone can use, and that’s their business model. When they do get there, we will already be dead so it won’t matter! Or Learn Dash will be the product of choice.

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