LinkedIn buys news app Pulse to broaden content

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SAN FRANCISCO—LinkedIn said Thursday it bought news reading app-maker Pulse, boosting the content offerings of the career-focused social network.

Pulse applications for Apple and Android-powered smartphones or tablets were designed as a “fast, fun and beautiful way to read your favorite blogs, magazines and newspapers.”

The startup claims more than 20 million Pulse app users and said it is adding more than two million monthly.

The move by LinkedIn, which said in January that it had more than 200 million members, suggests it is broadening its focus to more than just career connections, by adding the mobile news reader platform.

LinkedIn senior vice president Deep Nishar said in a blog post that the deal involves acquisition of a firm “shaking up the app world with a fresh, new way to consume news on mobile.”

He said this can help LinkedIn become a “definitive professional publishing platform.”

“Millions of professionals are already starting their day on LinkedIn to glean the professional insights and knowledge they need to make them great at their jobs,” Nishar said.

“We believe we can help all professionals make smarter and more informed business decisions leveraging all the great business knowledge flowing through LinkedIn in the form of news, Influencer posts, industry updates, discussions, comments and more.”

LinkedIn did not disclose financial terms of the deal, which online reports valued at between $50 million and $100 million.

Pulse was founded in early 2010 by then Stanford University graduate students Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta after a “to revolutionize the mobile news reading experience,” according to a message at the startup’s website.

LinkedIn has its headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View, California, and is available in more than 200 countries and territories in a variety of languages.

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