How Acquisitions Drive 15 Minutes of Fame on LinkedIn: WhatsApp vs. Instagram

February 24, 2014

Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion  was easily the biggest story in tech last week. How big? Well, let’s just say their employees’ profiles on LinkedIn became quite popular.

Turns out that a lot of us (myself included) wanted to know just who these lucky folks were, so we looked them up on LinkedIn. Below is the relative week-over-week change in traffic to LinkedIn profiles of WhatsApp’s 50+ employees.

WhatsApp Instagram Acquisitions Profile Views
Note: Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp on February 19, 2014 and Instagram on April 9, 2012.

Last week, the LinkedIn profiles of WhatsApp’s employees got viewed 173 times more than the week prior.

173X is a really big increase. For example, lets say you work for WhatsApp. If you averaged 10 visitors a day to your profile, on the day of the acquisition you would have had 1,730 visitors. Talk about celebrity status!

Because this isn’t Facebook’s first foray into big ticket acquisitions, we took a look at the relative change in LinkedIn profile views of Instagram’s original 10+ employees, leading up to their big day. The pattern holds relatively true; Instagram employees saw a 153X increase in traffic to their profiles on the day their acquisition was announced. In 2012, many of you were just as intrigued as you were last week to uncover the faces behind the big story.

As these data points suggest, your company’s online presence extends way beyond your website, your LinkedIn Company Page, and any other ‘official’ presences you manage. Your employees’ LinkedIn profiles are a highly visible component of your company’s overall brand and your talent brand. Make sure all of your employees, including your executives, have a strong and appropriate presence on LinkedIn - because you never know when their 15 minutes of fame might arise.

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