SlideShare – company overview

SlideShare is an online hosting service based in the US. It is a hosting service for professional and educational content including presentations, infographics, documents, and videos. Registered users on Slideshare can upload files privately or publicly in various formats including, PowerPoint, Word, PDF, or OpenDocument. These documents can then be viewed on the site itself. They can also be viewed on hand held devices or embedded on other sites. Slideshare was originally launched on October 4, 2006. It is commonly considered to be similar to YouTube, but for slideshows. SlideShare was purchased by LinkedIn in 2012.

Slide share originally intended to be used by businesses to share slideshows among employees more easily. Today, it  has expanded to become a host of many types of slides, some of which are uploaded merely to entertain. Even though SlideShare is primarily a slide hosting service, it also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars. Like most social media, Slideshare also provides users the ability to rate, comment on, and share public content on the site.

To make it simple, SlideShare is just a combination of a social network and an online learning platform. Everyone and anyone can create a presentation on the SlideShare website, often referred to as “SlideShare dot net”. People who create high quality and popular creations, such as comprehensive webinars, can easily gain a large following on the site.

SlideShare projects can be posted privately or publicly on the platform depending on the user. Public projects can be commented on and liked. Users can allso share public posts on other social media and sites. Slides on the site can be downloaded for offline viewing by getting the official SlideShare iOS app and SlideShare Android app.

SlideShare estimates shaow that the site gets about 80 million visitor per month. SlideShare has 38 it million registered users. While SlideShare is a prominent name in it genre, it has many big competitors. SlideShare’s biggest competitors include Zoho.com, Scribd.com, Issuu and edocr. Slideshare is used by many big companies and organizations. Some notable users of SlideShare include The White House, NASA, World Economic Forum, State of Utah, O’Reilly Media, Hewlett Packard and IBM.

Slidecast

Slideshare annouced a new format called “SlideCast”  on July 24th, 2007. It was intended to “make web multimedia using only a ppt file and an mp3”. Slidecast was created as a play on the words “Slide show” and “podcasting” according to Jonathan Boutelle.

Basically, Slidecasts allowed users with uploaded Powerpoint, Keynote or PDF presentations to synchronize them to mp3 audio,that is; users were able to convert their slideshows into audio files. This audio conversion is easy to perform and can be started using the editor’s “Edit slidecast” link. Slidecast was said to be “the hardest technical and design task” Slideshare has taken on, as of 2007.

Slidecast was officially shut down in April 30,2014, less than a year after LinkedIn took ownership.

Zipcasts

In February 2011, SlideShare added a feature called Zipcasts. A social web conferencing system, Zipcasts allows presenters to broadcast an audio/video feed while driving the presentation through the Internet. It gives users the chance to communicate during the presentation via an inbuilt chat function.

The Zipcasts don’t support screen sharing with the presenter, a feature available in competing paid services like WebEx and GoToMeeting. Additionally, presenters using Zipcasts are not able to control the flow of a presentation allowing viewers to navigate back and forth through the slides themselves

History

On October 4, 2006, SlideShare’s website was officially launched. The person in charge of partnerships and product strategy is Rashmi Sinha, the CEO and co-founder of SlideShare. She is listed among the world’s Top 10 Women Influencers in Web 2.0 by FastCompany. The CTO of SlideShare, Jonathan Boutelle came up with the initial idea behind the website. Boutelle was the one who wrote the first version of the site.

Slideshare announced that LinkedIn would aquire ownership rights on May 3, 2012. This transfer of ownership was supposedly priced at about $118.75 million.

Slideshare’s site was reimagined in December 2013. This offered more of a visual spin on the homepage, including larger images.

Slideshare’s decline

Slideshare and its apps are technically all still active. However, SlideShare is no longer as popular as it used to be. Today, the site is hardly listed as a primary focus for either individuals or companies. A large majority of SlideShare’s most-popular presentations were created several years ago. SlideShare is now used basically as a medium to drive traffic to paid LinkedIn Learning courses rather than support user-created content.

The apps on both platforms are on their way out. They no longer receive updates.

A primary reason for SlideShare’s decline is the success of numerous rival online educational platforms like Lynda, which powers LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy. The major trump that other platforms have over SlideShare is that these other services feature more multimedia functionality and also allow creators to earn money from their webinars and courses. SlideShare on the other hand is mostly restricted to basic free slideshows, .

Again, cloud storage services, such as Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox are on the rise. These provide easy solutions for file sharing and viewing and have also likely had an effect on SlideShare user numbers, as has the continued popularity of YouTube, which many educators now use for free education channels, video tutorials, and online marketing.