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LinkedIn has sold its presentation-sharing service, SlideShare, to Scribd, a digital library leader for books, audiobooks, and other professional works. Scribd’s specialty is to host tonnes of user-uploaded documents such as business templates, books, self-published stories, and study guides, among others. It will officially take over the operation of SlideShare from the 24th of September. This acquisition is inclusive of SlideShare’s users, uploading and hosting tools, and archives of documents and presentations.
This came as good news for existing SlideShare users as their accounts and uploaded content is wholly safeguarded, and nothing is removed. LinkedIn users, on the other hand, will still be able to upload, share, and discuss documents. Although Scribd is a subscription service with unlimited access to its library of content for $9.99 a month, SlideShare will remain a free service. This means that a Scribd subscription is not necessary to be able to continue using SlideShare.
Scribd co-founder, Trip Adler, in a SlideShare welcome blog, said, “Our acquisition of SlideShare is a major step towards creating the world’s largest digital library. Scribd has accumulated a unique collection of user-generated and professional content that we make available to our readers via personalized recommendations. The addition of presentations from the SlideShare community advances our vision. It allows us to continue diversifying our offering while driving even more readers to the books, audiobooks, magazines, and other professionally published works in our digital library.”
According to the details of the acquisition, content uploaded to SlideShare can only be viewed on SlideShare, users cannot access presentations on Scribd, and SlideShare accounts cannot be used on Scribd. This gives us a clue that the two platforms will run independently of each other, and SlideShare users with no interest in Scribd will not be forced into registering for Scribd.
Additionally, despite neither site having spoken about any significant shifts so far, it is safe to assume that there are plans in the works. According to Scribd CEO Trip Adler, the deal is primarily about tapping into SlideShare’s “content and audience” and was noted saying, “The two products always had kind of similar missions. The difference was, [SlideShare] focused more on PowerPoint presentations and business users. In contrast, we focused more on PDFs and Word docs and long-form written content, more on the general consumer.”