Dating back to 2003, LinkedIn has provided quality service through efficient professional networking through social media for the past 13 years. It has become a juggernaut in the professional online world connecting more than 106 million active users worldwide.
The site was made specifically for professional connections and networking amidst the growing popularity of social media. The idea was a great success and has continued up to this day, introducing new tools and applications for optimal utilization from users of the site.
History of LinkedIn
Under the domain www.linkedin.com, LinkedIn was founded by Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Eric Ly, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Lee Hower, Konstantin Guericke, Stephen Beltzel, David Eves, Ian McNish, Yan Pujante, and Chris Saccheri.
In late 2002, founder and LinkedIn’s first CEO Reid Hoffman assembled a team including people from Paypal and Socialnet.com, who would later become the founders of LinkedIn. Together they worked on the idea of professional networking on social media.
As ambitious as the idea was, the initial response from people was slow, reaching as few as 20 signups a day. However Sequoia Capital was attracted by the growth of the site, seeing the potential growth of the site and made their investment by 2003, helping the company grow.
By 2004, the company reached 1 million subscribers. In 2005, the company introduced Jobs and Subscriptions, its first business lines that propelled the number of members to 4 million. After several developments for the previous years, in 2007, Reid Hoffman passes on the title of CEO to Dan Nye. In that year, they reached the 10 million-member milestone.
In 2008, the company opens its first international office in London as they launched the Spanish and French language versions of the site. By 2009, Jeff Weiner becomes the company’s CEO, establishing the clear goals of the company under his leadership.
2010 marked intense growth for LinkedIn, reaching up to 90 million members as they also opened up a new office in Ireland. By December, the company was valued at $1.575 billion in private markets. In 2013, the company was 10 years old and had 225 million members. From then, the company continues to grow with innovations in professional networking and developing further the connections made.
Marketing and how your information is gathered
LinkedIn, as a professional social media network, is bound to be brimming with advertisements and marketing opportunities as they are great ways to connect. Online advertisers, hiring agencies, or even the user may take advantage of this. Paired up with the site’s tools, the potential is immense.
To start off, in order for LinkedIn to gather data, they use “cookies” that track specific points of interest about you, the user. These cookies are then used to track anonymous business matches and takes information of their type, structure, size, and profile. With that, an ad pops up to you that best fits your interests and specified needs.
Regarding security concerns, the site uses non-personally identifiable information (non-PII), so users would not be singled out. Users may also opt out of this but LinkedIn encourages users to utilize the option to maximize their experience on the platform. For security, a 2-factor authentication system tightens the grip over accounts against being hacked, a problem they faced last 2012.
Evolution and features
Through the 13 years of the company’s growth, LinkedIn has become an increasingly active member of the social media community that has driven people to build professional connections over time. Its success has retained its function and image, with revenue marked at $2.99 billion.
Groups are utilized inside the social media site. Having various topics and differing purposes, they are usually business-oriented groups meant to create deeper connections within its members and provide opportunities for both job seekers and recruiters. It may be private, for members, or for anyone depending on their preferences
There are numerous features that make LinkedIn a premier social media platform for businesses. LinkedIn Sales Navigator lets you see your leads and prospects who have visited your profile, LinkedIn Talent Solutions help you find the perfect candidate for posted jobs, LinkedIn Premium lets you find the perfect team and work related to specific conditions and filters that premium features introduce to you.
It was announced that by the end of 2016, after a successful deal with Microsoft, they will acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. Though the site will be acquired, the CEO will retain position and the image of LinkedIn shall remain as the identity that people have been used to over the years.
Benefits and criticism
LinkedIn is widely praised for its unique utilization of a social media platform as a professional networking site. Through the years, the site has made significant change and a large following, mostly due to its successes in introducing network to network and worker to recruiter effectively. LinkedIn jobs have grown and many users now see the platform as a go-to site in order to foster lasting business relationships in social media.
However, as the site gathers significant information from the users, there are also criticisms that question the integrity of the security of acquired information. This was the case in 2012 when about 6 million LinkedIn users’ passwords were stolen. With this incident, the company asked its members to change their passwords to avoid being hacked. The endorsement feature in the site is also criticized of being almost baseless as it is digital and may not be purely factual.
Things you might not know
Growing to be the biggest professional social media site, LinkedIn regularly has 560,000 people visiting every day. With this number, their weekly page visits reach about 450 million. Contrary to notions stating that members of the site are mostly job seekers, about 80% of actual users utilizing the site are job recruiters.
LinkedIn operates in more than 200 countries. About 60% of users are male and 40% female. As for the age group of the members, roughly 51% are from the 25-34 age group, 26% from the 18-24 group, 16% for the 35-54 age group, and finally the remaining 7% for 54 and above. Executives from Fortune 500, a list of the largest US corporations, are mostly members of LinkedIn.