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LinkedIn rolls learning into its network, continues to dream big

A year and a half ago, LinkedIn plunked down $1.5 billion for Lynda.com, the huge online learning site. Today, at an event in its San Francisco office, the company introduced LinkedIn Learning, a set of new features that incorporate Lynda.com courses into LinkedIn itself, so that members can find and take courses, see which ones their connections are taking, and otherwise learn skills that are useful to their careers, all within the context of LinkedIn. They’re available starting today.

“We believe this is a new day,” said Tanya Staples, senior director of content and production. “It is a revolution in learning.” It’s also a way for LinkedIn to tempt more users and companies into paying for its premium membership tiers, which is how you’ll get access to courses.

LinkedIn Learning is arriving while the company finalizes its $26 billion deal to be acquired by Microsoft, which was announced in June. It says that once the merger is complete, it plans to work with its new parent to blend the 450-million person LinkedIn network with Microsoft’s billion-user customer base. And even though LinkedIn will end up as one division of as bigger enterprise, CEO Jeff Weiner isn’t cutting down the size of its ambitions. “The dream,” he said at today’s event, “is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”HM