Wall Street Journal to launch a financial social network

Rupert Murdoch

News Corp., led by CEO Rupert Murdoch, wants its forthcoming WSJ Profile product to be a home for conversations among those in the financial industry.

(Jonathan Alcorn / Bloomberg)

LinkedIn’s quest to be a vibrant platform for business content and discussions will face a new challenge.

News Corp., which owns Dow Jones & Co. and the Wall Street Journal, wants its forthcoming WSJ Profile product to be a home for conversations among those in the financial industry.

“You’ll be able to load your research, load papers, load information about yourself, show people your job (and have a) nice photograph of yourself,” Dow Jones CEO Lex Fenwick told investors this week. “We will be able to build a network of like-minded people around the globe into a community.”

Fenwick said the profile features should launch within a couple of weeks. It’s part of a new strategy by the company to add a social layer and bring more value to its offerings, he said. Dow Jones will also release a messaging service for its subscribers, an online storage locker and a feature that delivers subscribers breaking news.


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News Corp. shareholders next month plan to vote to split the company into two, pushing its film and television brands into 21st Century Fox and leaving the Journal and other newspapers in News Corp. The new News Corp. will have more than $2 billion in cash to invest in the new features. In the long-term, subscription prices may be raised, Fenwick said.

LinkedIn expects about $1.43 billion in revenue this year. The company has pitched itself as a professional publishing platform as it seeks to draw more income from advertisers and rely less on companies who pay to use its talent finder.

The company also could see competition next year from dating website eHarmony, which has said it plans to build a service to match employers with job seekers.


In 2007, News Corp. was said to be in serious talks with LinkedIn about a buyout. LinkedIn ended up getting more venture capital funding shortly thereafter, and it went public in May 2011.


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