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RIP SlideShare, It Was Good While It Lasted

by Mathew Sweezey  |  
September 10, 2018

In 2016, SlideShare had over 70 million unique visitors per day, and it was listed by Alexa as one of the top 100 most visited websites in the world. At its peak, it was such a powerhouse that Obama used the network to post his birth certificate. It also stood for years as a premier B2B social channel: In 2015, author and marketing expert Jay Baer referred to it as "content marketing's secret weapon."

However, just a few months ago, Baer changed his tune, penning an article titled "LinkedIn Is Ruining SlideShare."

It's not just Baer. Power users have been dropping the channel left and right.

Top content creator and SlideShare investor Dave McLure hasn't posted to the channel in over 11 months. HubSpot, the content marketing powerhouse that posted over 60 presentations in 2017 and reached over 500,000 users, has posted only once in 2018, reaching a total of just over 1,000 users.

So what has caused this exodus of power users and decline in social-media prominence? A perfect storm of shifting parent-company priorities, insufficient revenues, and a user base largely outside of the US.

Despite SlideShare's massive fan base, loyal users, and billions of impressions, it was a storm too great. A once-powerful channel is all but dead, and here's why.

Loss of Humanity

The rapid growth of SlideShare from a small startup to a top website began in 2009, in a tiny room in India, when Amit Rajan, Rashmi Sinha, and Jonathan Boutelle saw the need for a "YouTube for presentations." Within a few years, they had built a network of 38 million registered users by providing a desperately needed tool—and a new social channel for presentations.

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Mathew Sweezey is principal of marketing insights at, a global leader in CRM software. He is also the author of Marketing Automation for Dummies.

LinkedIn: Mathew Sweezey

Twitter: @msweezey

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  • by Lyn Hillman Mon Sep 10, 2018 via web

    It should be 'Lynda' not 'Lydia.'

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Mon Sep 10, 2018 via web

    Hi, Lyn. You're right, of course. It's been corrected. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • by Doug Kessler Tue Sep 11, 2018 via web

    Great post calling out a real lost opportunity for LinkedIn and Microsoft.

    I loved Slideshare and used it as a content format -- a medium in its own right -- and a bonus audience.
    And I love the embed-ability. More than half the views of our most popular slideshares are from blogs that embedded them.

    It's fall right off our list of formats/channels to use for our own marketing and for our clients.
    We even created a better version of a slide-based content format for our clients -- it's what slideshare should have become: includes audio, video animations, drill-downs, branching content... and granular analytics about pages views, time on page and site... stuff like that.

    I do get how a big company could decide that a product is not a priority. But this one had a hugely loyal audience that asked very, very little of it.


  • by Elaine Fogel Tue Sep 11, 2018 via web

    This is soooo disappointing. Thanks for sharing the bad news.

  • by Arthur Tue Sep 11, 2018 via web

    What about AuthorStream?

  • by Norm Brien Thu Sep 13, 2018 via mobile

    While I didn't use the resource frequently, I was amazed by the content and the the volume of presentations that many profesessionals shared. It was a way to reach new connections and a great form of education. Why these mega tech firms make strategic decisions from their board lounge chairs without customer input is beyond me and no one sitting in their "towers" really care. It's always about the money. Thank you forr sharing and hopefully the newer platforms listen to reason.

  • by Michael Odza Sat Sep 15, 2018 via web

    How independent has LinkedIn itself been, under Microsoft ownership?

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