Lynda.com has been around since 1995, the beginnings of the internet. The website offers instructional training videos in the categories of creative skills, technology and business skills. Fees are either $25 or $37.50 per month. The premium membership, for $37.50, allows you to download the presentation files used in the videos. Lynda's homepage boasts clients like Adobe, Microsoft, and NBC and prominently notes that they host 3,445 video courses.
I had never heard of Lynda before they were acquired by Linkedin, the social networking site for career-oriented communication. As reported by Forbes, Linkedin stated the following about their purchase.
"This represents a significant new direction in LinkedIn's business - from one of selling advertising, data, and recruitment services toward the sale of instructional content and e-learning. The corporate training industry, which is around $130 billion in size, coupled with the personal education industry, is highly competitive and a new and exciting market for LinkedIn."
Lynda is known for spiffy-looking videos starring experts in the field of instruction. It is not the only online training/education website out there (Khan Academy, Udemy, Coursera, Pluralsight are competitors), but it is very nice-looking and that may be an advantage. Linkedin will have to leverage their data to make sure the videos and topics on Lynda are up to date and relevant.
Linkedin has become known as a networking site for job hunters and recruiters, mainly. Its purchase of Lynda is strategic simply because it wants to be known as a professional development domain. Jeff Weiner, chief executive of Linkedin, says he's had his eye on Lynda from a while. His vision includes helping "empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate in their careers," says The Economic Times.
Linkedin launched a Chinese-language version of the website last year (yes, it is available in China). That's just another aggressive move by this professional development and networking website. Other social networking sites, including Facebook, have been banned in China. Lynda.com owns and manages video2brain.com, a language learning site with French, German, and Spanish versions, which is now a part of Linkedin's portfolio.