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LinkedIn buys Pulse news reader in $90m deal

LinkedIn and Pulse today confirmed what everyone has been whispering about since last month: The professional social network has acquired the popular news reader app in a $90 million (£60 million) deal.

The acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter of the year.

Pulse is the brainchild of Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta, who developed the service as a class project at Stanford in 2010. It took off after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs mentioned Pulse during the iPhone 4 press event, and landed on Time magazine's top 50 apps of 2011 list the following year.

Pulse, available on mobile and the web, collects news items from more than 700 publishing partners, and serves up the most relevant content.

"Pulse is a perfect complement to [our] vision," LinkedIn's Deep Nishar wrote in a blog post. "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."

The Pulse team mirrored those feelings, revealing in a separate blog post that the business-based social network "shares our passions and values, our belief in the power of knowledge and elevated discussion, particularly for professionals looking for insights to help make them better at what they do."

Neither company revealed details about how they will work together. Pulse's Kothari and Gupta promised that, for now, the Pulse Android and iOS apps will remain the same, while the teams work together "to create cool and useful new offerings." Employees will, however, move into LinkedIn's Mountain View headquarters.

To celebrate the move, Pulse is offering a new LinkedIn Influencer feed, filled with messages from Richard Branson, Jack Welch, and others.

The news comes shortly after Yahoo spent a reported $30 million (£20 million) to acquire news app Summly.