Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The deal is a major play for intra-corporate communication, but what lies behind this strategic purchase?

Quite simply LinkedIn is growing. According to Digital market intelligence firm SimilarWeb, the professional networking site has seen growth in app usage in eight out of nine major countries from January to March 2016, comparing the same period in 2015. The social network’s daily year over year daily time spent on its app has grown by 7.85% in the U.S, 12.23% in the UK, 17.52% in Australia and 26.6% in Brazil in this period. In the analysis of Brazil, South Africa, France, UK, Germany, Spain, Australia, India and the U.S – only Germany saw a decline in LinkedIn app usage of 3.6% year over year.

The average usage of the LinkedIn app is 5 minutes 16 seconds in the U.S, and 5 minutes 12 in the UK. In the study of nine countries, Australians are the biggest users spending an average of 5.22 minutes on the LinkedIn app.

LinkedIn attracts an average of 902,329 million combined desktop and mobile visits each month. The majority of traffic comes via the U.S (33.4%), followed by India (6.65%), UK (5.75%), France ( 4.42%) and Brazil (4.15%).

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent a letter to employees explaining the buy: MicrosoftLinkedIn

“This deal is key to our bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes. Think about it: How people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done and ultimately find success requires a connected professional world. It requires a vibrant network that brings together a professional’s information in LinkedIn’s public network with the information in Office 365 and Dynamics. This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete. As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow.”

LinkedIn’ CEO Jeff Weiner, also wrote an email to staff reassuring them that the company will continue to operate independently. “Little is expected to change: You’ll have the same title, the same manager, and the same role you currently have. The one exception: For those members of the team whose jobs are entirely focused on maintaining LinkedIn’s status as a publicly traded company, we’ll be helping you find your next play. In terms of everything else, it should be business as usual. We have the same mission and vision; we have the same culture and values; and I’m still the CEO of LinkedIn.”