Home Blog Uncategorized The missed opportunity that was Slideshare

The missed opportunity that was Slideshare


In case you missed it, LinkedIn sold Slideshare, the once-popular slide deck social sharing site, to Scribd a few weeks ago.

That thud you hear is the sound of the news landing in social media circles.

Few people cared. And, for good reason. Since buying Slideshare in 2013 (it’s been SEVEN YEARS since they bought Slideshare?!?!?!), LinkedIn did absolutely nothing with its investment. Nothing.

And that is a big missed opportunity.

Not that Slideshare was a social media darling. Or, destined to overtake Facebook. No, Slideshare was a niche network. On par with FlickR, Quora and Reddit.

But, it had a loyal and strong following. And, it met an online need–a place to house our slide decks and share them across the social web.

When LinkedIn acquired Slideshare in 2013, I remember thinking: I can’t wait to see what they do with this! Big possibilities on integrations with LinkedIn, right? Considering LinkedIn is THE professional social network and most decks came from professional types like marketers, HR folks and consultants.

But, LinkedIn dropped the ball–for whatever reason. Nothing happened. Slideshare floundered. And, eventually, people stopped using it.

And man, a big opportunity was wasted.

Here’s just a short list of the ways LinkedIn could have bolstered Slideshare via its platform over the years, and made it a more useful platform:

  • Build out a “Presentations” tab in LinkedIn. I know some people insert their prezos in the “Featured” tab, but given the relevance of PPTs in everyday professional life, why not build out an entire tab devoted to presentations for LinkedIn users? Not everyone would use it, obviously, but I’d be willing to be a lot of people would.
  • Featured prezos in the feed. Why not insert “featured presentations” in the content feeds of users? This would be based on your industry and interests, of course. But, what a great way to get more useful and informative content in the hands of users?
  • Top 10 prezos of the day/week/month. Why couldn’t LinkedIn have curated the top 10 prezos of the day/week/month by industry/sector? That would have been a relatively easy way to unearth and showcase the very best content from Slideshare to an entirely new audience who wouldn’t normally see it (but, who would most likely appreciate it based on relevance).
  • Making Slideshares into Webinars. What I was secretly hoping for once a big company like LinkedIn bought Slideshare is that they would develop some kind of easy tech that would allow us to make each deck into a webinar–effectively, giving us the opportunity to add our audio presentation to our PPT deck.

Those are a just a few ideas that came to mind. If you’ve been a Slideshare user over the years, I’m sure you probably have many more!

For now, I guess I’m just disappointed in the lost opportunity.



Catch up on the latest trends and insights in social media, PR and digital marketing.