LinkedIn Corporation
Type Public
Traded as NYSELNKD
Founded Santa Monica, California (2003)
Founder Reid Hoffman
Allen Blue
Konstantin Guericke
Eric Ly
Jean-Luc Vaillant
Headquarters Mountain View, California, US
Area served Worldwide
Key people Reid Hoffman
(Executive Chairman)
Jeff Weiner
Revenue US$121 million (Q2 2011)[1]
Net income US$4.5 million (Q2 2011)[1]
Employees 1,000 (2010)
Slogan Relationships Matter
IPv6 support No
Alexa rank increase 12 (November 2011)[2]
Type of site Social network service
Advertising Google, AdSense
Registration Required
Users 115.8 million (August 2011)[1]
Available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Russian and Turkish.
Launched May 5, 2003
Current status Active

LinkedIn (NYSELNKD) (play /ˌlɪŋkt.ˈɪn/) is a business-related social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003,[3] it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 4 August 2011 (2011 -08-04), LinkedIn reports more than 120 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories.[4][5] The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish and Japanese.[6][7][8] Quantcast reports Linkedin has 21.4 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 47.6 million globally.[9]In June 2011, LinkedIn had 33.9 million unique visitors, up 63 percent from a year earlier and surpassing MySpace.[10] LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol "LNKD".[11]


Company background

LinkedIn's CEO is Jeff Weiner, previously a Yahoo! Inc. executive. The company was founded by Reid Hoffman and founding team members from PayPal and (Allen Blue, Eric Ly, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Lee Hower, Konstantin Guericke, Stephen Beitzel, David Eves, Ian McNish, Yan Pujante, and Chris Saccheri)

Founder Reid Hoffman, previously CEO of LinkedIn, is now Chairman of the Board. Bhushan Kasvekar is Vice President of Products.[12] LinkedIn is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in Omaha, Chicago, New York, London and Dublin. It is funded by Sequoia Capital, Greylock, Bain Capital Ventures,[13] Bessemer Venture Partners and the European Founders Fund. LinkedIn reached profitability in March 2006.[14] Through January 2011, the company had received a total of $103 million of investment.[15]

In 2003, Sequoia Capital led the Series A investment in the company.[16] In June 2008, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and other venture capital firms purchased a 5% stake in the company for $53 million, giving the company a post-money valuation of approximately $1 billion.[17]

In June 2010, LinkedIn announced it would be opening up a European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.[18]

In July 2010, Tiger Global Management LLC purchased a 1% stake in the company for $20 million at a valuation of approximately $2 billion.[19]

In August 2010, LinkedIn announced the acquisition of Mspoke. It is the company's first acquisition for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition aims to help LinkedIn users do more than just find a job, increase users' activity[20] and improve its 1% premium subscription ratio.[21]

In October 2010 Silicon Valley Insider ranked the company No. 10 on its Top 100 List of most valuable start ups.[22] As of December 2010, the company was valued at $1.575 billion in private markets.[23]

LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on January 27, 2011.[24] and the IPO occurred on May 19. Shares, initially priced at $45, rose to $122.70 in the first day of trading.[25] The stock closed up 109% in its first day of trading, making it the fifth-largest first day gainer in the post bubble era.[26]


With 116 million users, LinkedIn is ahead of its competitors Viadeo (35 million)[27] and XING (10 million).[28] The membership grows by approximately two new members every second[29]. About half of the members are in the United States and 11 million are from Europe. With 3 million users, India has the fastest-growing network of users as of 2009. The Netherlands has the highest adoption rate per capita outside the US at 30%.[30] LinkedIn recently reached 4 million users in UK,[31] 1 million in Spain,[32] and nearly 1 million in Pakistan. (According to Alexa, LinkedIn is the 10th most visited website in Pakistan.)

As of March 2011 the service had 44 million users in the US and 56 million outside.[33]


One purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people with whom they have some level of relationship, called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. However, if the recipient of an invitation selects "I don't know", this counts against the person inviting them, and after five such "IDKs" a member cannot invite another to connect without first supplying their recipient mail address.[citation needed]

This list of connections can then be used in a number of ways:

  • A contact network is built up consisting of their direct connections, the connections of each of their connections (termed second-degree connections) and also the connections of second-degree connections (termed third-degree connections). This can be used to gain an introduction to someone a person wishes to know through a mutual contact.
  • It can then be used to find jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by someone in one's contact network.
  • Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates.
  • Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them.
  • Users can post their own photos and view photos of others to aid in identification.
  • Users can now follow different companies and can get notification about the new joining and offers available.
  • Users can save (i.e. bookmark) jobs which they would like to apply for.

The "gated-access approach" (where contact with any professional requires either a preexisting relationship, or the intervention of a contact of theirs) is intended to build trust among the service's users. LinkedIn participates in the EU's International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles.[34]

The feature LinkedIn Answers,[35] similar to Yahoo! Answers, allows users to ask questions for the community to answer. This feature is free and the main difference from the latter is that questions are potentially more business-oriented, and the identity of the people asking and answering questions is known.

Another LinkedIn feature is LinkedIn Polls.

In mid-2008, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn DirectAds as a form of sponsored advertising.[36]

In October 2008, LinkedIn revealed plans to opening its social network of 30 million professionals globally as a potential sample for business-to-business research. It is testing a potential social-network revenue model-research that to some appears more promising than advertising.[37]


In October 2008, LinkedIn enabled an "applications platform" that allows other online services to be embedded within a member's profile page. Among the initial applications were an Amazon Reading List that allows LinkedIn members to display books they are reading, a connection to Tripit, and a Six Apart, WordPress and TypePad application that allows members to display their latest blog postings within their LinkedIn profile.[38]

In November 2010, LinkedIn allowed businesses to list products and services on company profile pages; it also permitted LinkedIn members to "recommend" products and services and write reviews.[39]


A mobile version of the site was launched in February 2008 which gives access to a reduced feature set over a mobile phone. The mobile service is available in six languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.[40]

In January 2011, LinkedIn acquired CardMunch, a mobile app maker that scans business cards and converts into contacts. LinkedIn plans to integrate this functionality into their services in the near future.[41] In August of 2011 LinkedIn revamped its mobile applications on the iPhone, Android and HTML5. Mobile page views of the application have increased roughly 400% year over year according to CEO Jeff Weiner.[42]


LinkedIn also supports the formation of interest groups, and as of March 24, 2011 there are 870,612 such groups whose membership varies from 1 to 377,000.[43] The majority of the largest groups are employment related, although a very wide range of topics are covered mainly around professional and career issues, and there are currently 128,000 groups for both academic and corporate alumni.

Groups support a limited form of discussion area, moderated by the group owners and managers. Since groups offer the ability to reach a wide audience without so easily falling foul of anti-spam solutions, there is a constant stream of spam postings, and there now exist a range of firms who offer a spamming service for this very purpose. LinkedIn has devised a few mechanisms to reduce the volume of spam, but recently took the decision to remove the ability of group owners to inspect the email address of new members in order to determine if they were spammers.[43]

Groups may be private, accessible to members only or may be open to Internet users in general to read, though they must join in order to post messages.

Job Listings

LinkedIn allows users to research companies with which they may be interested in working. When typing the name of a given company in the search box, statistics about the company are provided. These may include the ratio of female to male employees, the percentage of the most common titles/positions held within the company, the location of the company's headquarters and offices, or a list of present and former employees.

In July 2011, LinkedIn launched a new feature allowing companies to include an "Apply with LinkedIn" button on job listing pages.[44] The new plugin will allow potential employees to apply for positions using their LinkedIn profiles as resumes. All applications will also be saved under a "Saved Jobs" tab.[44]


LinkedIn has received a generally positive reception from critics. Online trade publication TechRepublic claimed that "LinkedIn has become the de facto tool for professional networking."[45] Irish journalist James O'Sullivan commented in the Evening Echo, an award-winning regional newspaper in the Republic of Ireland, where the company has its European headquarters, that ", a business-orientated networking site, can be an ideal way for professionals to present an online profile of themselves...Unlike social networking sites, [with] LinkedIn you're outlining all your credentials; presenting the professional rather than the personal you. Considering the sheer vastness of the digital space, the potential for building up a solid base of contacts and fostering new business relationships is boundless."[46]

International Reception

In 2009 Syrian users reported that LinkedIn server stopped accepting connections originating from IP addresses assigned to Syria. As company's Customer Support stated, services provided by them are subject to US export and re-export control laws and regulations and "As such, and as a matter of corporate policy, we do not allow member accounts or access to our site from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria."[47]

Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria are not available in the list of countries that LinkedIn users can select as one's location. However, as of April 2010, North Korea is still present there.

In China, LinkedIn is called as LINKEYIN by net friends, because it's a compound word, it's combined from Linked and In. According to the pronunciation and meaning, The word Linked can be translated to LINKE, and the word In can be translated to YIN. The word LINKEYIN is more easy to understand for Chinese people.

In February 2011 it was reported that LinkedIn was being blocked in China after calls for a "Jasmine Revolution". It was speculated to have been blocked because it is an easy way for dissidents to access Twitter, which had been blocked previously.[48] After a day of being blocked, LinkedIn access was restored in China.

SNA LinkedIn

The Search, Network, and Analytics team at LinkedIn has a web site[49] that hosts the open source projects built by the group. Notable among these projects is Project Voldemort,[50] a distributed key-value structured storage system with low-latency similar in purpose to's Dynamo and Google's BigTable.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Tracer, Zachary (5 August 2011). "LinkedIn Drops After Analysts Cut Ratings on Valuation Concerns". Business Week. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  2. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  3. ^ "Linked-In — Profile". alarm:clock. August 6, 2004. Retrieved January 17, 2008. 
  4. ^ LinkedIn – About Us
  5. ^ LinkedIn Surpasses 100 Million Users [INFOGRAPHIC]
  6. ^ "Italians get a local flavour of LinkedIn". April 15, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Look who’s talking Russian, Romanian and Turkish now!". June 21, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  8. ^ "LinkedIn launches in Japan". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  9. ^ "LinkedIn". Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Pepitone, Julianne (January 27, 2011). "LinkedIn files for IPO, reveals sales of $161 million". CNN<pmey. Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  12. ^ "About LinkedIn: Management". Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Press Release about Sequoia Capital Investing in LinkedIn". Retrieved November 14, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Press Releases: LinkedIn Premium Services Finding Rapid Adoption". LinkedIn. March 7, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  15. ^ Swisher, Kara (January 27, 2011). "Here Comes Another Web IPO: LinkedIn S-1 Filing Imminent". Boom Town. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  16. ^ LinkedIn Crunchbase Profile
  17. ^ Guynn, Jessica (June 17, 2008). "LinkedIn networks way to $53-million investment". The Los Angeles Times.,0,6631759.story. Retrieved June 17, 2008. 
  18. ^ LinkedIn to open HQ in Dublin
  19. ^ "Tiger Global Said to Invest in LinkedIn at $2 billion Valuation". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. July 28, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2010. 
  20. ^ Hardy, Quentin (August 4, 2010). "LinkedIn Hooks Up". Forbes. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Does local beat global in the professional-networking business?". The Economist. November 19, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  22. ^ Fusfeld, Adam (September 23, 2010). "2010 Digital 100 Companies 1–100". Retrieved December 17, 2010. 
  23. ^ Demos, Telis; Menn, Joseph (January 27, 2011). "LinkedIn looks for boost with IPO". Financial Times. Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  24. ^ LinkedIn establishes IPO terms Renaissance Capital
  25. ^ "LinkedIn's Stock Soars Amid Social Media Interest". Associated Press. May 19, 2011. 
  26. ^ "LinkedIn has 5th largest first day gain in post bubble era". Renaissance Capital. May 19, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  27. ^ "LinkedIn competitor Viadeo hits 30 million members". May 11, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Facts and Figures". XING. September 1, 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  29. ^ "LinkedIn now adding two members every second". Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  30. ^ "LinkedIn: 50 million professionals worldwide. LinkedIn. October 14, 2009. Retrieved November 3, 2009". Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  31. ^ "Four million UK professionals opt for a LinkedIn profile. Retrieved July 25, 2010". Retrieved July 25, 2010. [dead link]
  32. ^ "LinkedIn reaches 1 million users in Spain, competitors keep up the pressure. Retrieved July 25, 2010". Retrieved July 25, 2010. 
  33. ^ Sid Yadav, "LinkedIn reaches 100 million users, but how many are coming back?." March 22, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  34. ^ "Privacy Policy". LinkedIn. July 14, 2006. Retrieved January 17, 2008. 
  35. ^ "LinkedIn Answers unlocks the world’s best source of business knowledge: trusted professionals". January 16, 2007. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  36. ^ LinkedIn DirectAds launch, by Zaki Usman Nov 2008
  37. ^ LinkedIn's promising new revenue model: sending you surveys. By: Neff, Jack, Advertising Age, 00018899, 10/27/2008, Vol. 79, Issue 40. Database: Business Source Complete
  38. ^ Facebook in a Suit: LinkedIn Launches Applications Platform, BusinessWeek, October 28, 2008
  39. ^ "LinkedIn Adopts 'Recommend' Over 'Like'",, November 2, 2010
  40. ^ "Social-networking site LinkedIN introduces mobile version". Retrieved February 25, 2008. 
  41. ^ CardMunch acquired by LinkedIn, Feb 2011
  42. ^ Geron, Tommio. "LinkedIn Revamps iPhone, Android Apps, Launches HTML5 App". Article. Forbes. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  43. ^ a b Groups Directory | LinkedIn
  44. ^ a b Colleen Taylor, GigaOm. "LinkedIn launches job application plugin." July 25, 2009. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  45. ^ “Five Benefits of LinkedIn for Organizations (and IT Pros) | TechRepublic.” Web. May 9, 2011.
  46. ^ O'Sullivan, James (2011), "Make the most of the networking tools that are available", Evening Echo, 09-May-11. Pg 32.
  47. ^ "Syria: Linkedin Kicks Off Syrian Users!". Global Voices Advocacy. April 18, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  48. ^ Ungerleider, Neal (February 25, 2011). "China blocks access to LinkedIn". Fast Company. Retrieved February 25, 2011. 
  49. ^
  50. ^

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