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LinkedIn buys Newsle, a site that pings you when your friends make headlines

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Updated 10:39 a.m. ET with additional details from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn today announced it has bought Newsle, a service that sends you notifications when people you know or care about are in the news.

The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, but LinkedIn says it plans to keep the service alive “in the meantime” while it combines this technology with its “core assets.” This jargon suggests LinkedIn will integrate Newsle’s news notification service — which somewhat mirrors Google Alerts — directly into its core experience, enabling users to view news about their LinkedIn connections.

Reached by VentureBeat for comment, a LinkedIn spokesperson refused to provide a timeframe for its planned integration with Newsle, but shared that Newsle’s team will move into LinkedIn’s San Francisco offices. LinkedIn tells us “Newsle will continue to operate standalone as we integrate the company’s technology into our products and services.” The long-term fate of Newsle is not set in stone; it may shut down after LinkedIn debuts its own Newsle-inspired service.

This deal is the latest in a series of attempts LinkedIn has made to increase its relevance and stickiness. Last week, the company attempted to rethink its mobile experience — much like Facebook did with Paper for its own social network. And last month, the company killed off major features in its Rapportive Gmail plugin to simplify the service for new users. The company also recently redesigned its profiles and launched a cheaper premium tier to spur paid memberships.

According to Newsle’s post on the announcement, LinkedIn will make Newsle “available to its members” following the acquisition. Newsle has amassed 2 million users since it first launched three years ago and has raised $2.6 million to date. The company is based in San Francisco.

Here’s LinkedIn’s announcement, in full:

We know LinkedIn is a place you visit to stay up-to-speed on your network, showcase and strengthen your professional identity and read content to glean professional insights that help you make more informed business decisions.

Over the past year or so, we’ve introduced several new ways for you to further access this exchange of information to be better informed, educated and inspired by the business knowledge that exists on LinkedIn. For example, we’ve given you the ability to publish long form posts and add photos, videos and presentations to your profile; integrated LinkedIn and Pulse; and launched theInfluencer Program. But there’s more work to be done. That’s why I’m so excited to welcome Jonah VaronAxel Hansen and the rest of Newsle to the LinkedIn family.

LinkedIn and Newsle share a common goal: We both want to provide professional insights that make you better at what you do. For example, knowing more about the people in your network – like when they’re mentioned in the news – can surface relevant insights that help you hit your next meeting with them out of the park.

For the last three years, Newsle has leveraged its disambiguation, natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to build an extremely compelling product that finds blogs and articles that mention you or anyone you care about – colleagues, bosses, industry thought leaders, etc. – and notifies you seconds after they’ve published. We’re excited to work with Newsle’s team to combine this technology with our core assets and build experiences that continue to make you and millions of other professionals more productive and successful.

In the meantime, Newsle users will continue experiencing this great product as always. Newsle has done an amazing job creating a service that professionals rely on daily for insights, and we look forward to making the experience even better together. Please join me in welcoming Newsle to LinkedIn, and click here for Newsle’s take.

More about the companies and people from this article:

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet, with more than 259 million members worldwide, including executives from Fortune 500 companies. Founded on May 5, 2003, by Reid Hoffman and founding team members f... read more »

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11 comments
Tyson Quick
Tyson Quick

Jonah Varon & Axel Hansen congrats guys :D I'm stoked for you. Now throw a party!

Zion Kim
Zion Kim

Let's be real here, you're not going to set Google Alerts for every one of your contacts.

VentureBeat
VentureBeat

News alerts aren't just for the greedy. Unless you think we're greedy ;)

Paul Setiyaputra
Paul Setiyaputra

It sounds like the perfect solution for lazy and greedy corporate networkers.