still experiencing robust growth
Last week, LinkedIn reached another milestone, by reaching 50 million users worldwide. Half of those users are in the United States. Trailing behind the U.S. is Europe with approximately 11 million users. How quickly is Linkedin growing? To put it in perspective, it took the social network nearly 3 years to reach its first 5 million users, while the last million has taken a little over two weeks.
Linkedin, Straightforward All Along
Unlike facebook, Twitter, and other social network players, there has been no question as to what type of network LinkedIn is, a service where strictly business connections are made. For the first four years, business professionals connected with their colleagues, business associates, and clients. It also became a tool for recruiters to research candidates, as Linkedin profiles became the static online resume. It wasn’t until the last two years when the service became more engaging when Linkedin introduced the Answers section of their site, a forum where you can ask or answer questions by subject open to all Linkedin users. This service coupled with group discussions has provided Linkedin users with a multipurpose objective to doing business online.
LinkedIn is Here to Stay
For a while, it’s been known that Linkedin was not going away anytime soon, but last year’s events removed any doubt. After receiving a 53 million investment earlier last year, an additional 22.7 million was raised in October. And in addition to the funding, Linkedin launched application deals with partners like Google, Amazon, WordPress, Typepad, and to name a few.
The Future of Linkedin
Linkedin has a ways to go to catch up to the likes of facebook (over 300 million at the time of this post), however, they have been able to monetize despite the contrast in users. Facebook has started to match their spending, but are not projected to be profitable for another year. Linkedin became profitable back in 2006, only 3 years after launching the service. Why? It’s simple, users of Linkedin go there to do business and are willing to pay for it. Besides running sponsored ads like other social networks, Linkedin has demographics that are appealing for display ads which are usually reserved for bigger advertisers. Users also have the option of upgrading their account to make business connections easier, and also have tools for recruiters and companies who utilize the professional social network for finding and evaluating new talent. These attributes are paving the way for Linkedin to become the online source for for companies, recruiters, and business professionals, and there is no sign of any other social network that can specifically compete in these areas in the near term.