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Microsoft

What if, instead of paying LinkedIn to message someone you really want to reach, you could pay the person instead. That's the premise behind Nextio, a professional social network launching on Thursday.

Why we're watching: Nextio, formerly Telo, is headed by Anoop Gupta, an 18-year Microsoft executive who once served as Bill Gates' technical assistant and later led the company's push into the world of instant messaging and unified communications.

Now, he finds himself taking on his old company, following Microsoft's $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn.

Rather than keep people's profile hidden behind a paywall, Nextio argues that everyone should be able to see everyone else. If you want to message someone busy or important, Nextio users can offer a small payment as an enticement, Users can still decide whether or not to respond. If they do, they can either keep the payment or donate it to one of several charities.

The hard part: The challenge, of course, is building a social network from scratch is no easy task, especially for a six person startup.

"This is a hard problem," Gupta told Axios. "All we can say is we are aware."

So what's the lure?: To attract users, the site will offer everyone who signs up access to a virtual "career coach" as well as information on job paths taken by people with similar backgrounds — think Zillow for careers instead of houses. Getting started with Nextio is also easily, thanks to a clever hack that lets people import all their LinkedIn profile information with a simple copy and paste.

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump, per AZCentral.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of Trump loyalist Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”