LinkedIn Premium Services Finding Rapid Adoption
Palo Alto, Calif. — March 7, 2006 — LinkedIn Corporation today announced that due to the rapid adoption of its premium services, the company expects to reach profitability this month. LinkedIn’s premium accounts were introduced just seven months ago and are priced between $60 and $2,000 per year. LinkedIn closed venture capital rounds of $4.7 million and $10 million in November 2003 and October 2004, respectively, and will not require any additional investment to fund business operations. LinkedIn’s emphasis for the next six to nine months will be to broaden the utility of its offerings that are free to all members.
Currently, the most active members are those who frequently need to contact professionals as part of their job: recruiters, analysts, researchers, investment professionals, entrepreneurs and management consultants. Hiring managers and job seekers also search on LinkedIn whenever they need to identify top recruits or inside connections to employers. Relationships matter to professionals across all industries and functions, and LinkedIn’s product initiatives for 2006 aim to make LinkedIn the most useful business web site for over ten million professionals across the globe.
Recently, LinkedIn launched new features to help members re-connect with past co-workers and classmates free of charge. In the coming months, LinkedIn will provide its members with updates about their colleagues on their home pages, including who has a new email address, who got promoted and who is hiring – making it fast and easy for members to stay in touch and strengthen ties with their existing network of business contacts. And as most seasoned professionals know, the best opportunities tend to come through one’s network of relationships.
Increasingly, success in business is no longer based on what or even who you know, but who your contacts know. LinkedIn is developing sophisticated matching technology to identify relevant contacts for members among the people their connections know. For job seekers, LinkedIn has already begun recommending jobs offered by people their colleagues know. This matching takes into account the individual career history of members as well as likely future career progression based on the aggregate data of LinkedIn profiles created by over five million professionals around the world. For example, if a member has been a sales manager for three years and people with this background tend to either move into sales director or field marketing roles, LinkedIn highlights open positions with those titles currently offered by people his or her connections know.
Recently, LinkedIn has given members the ability to optimize their LinkedIn profile for pickup by leading Internet search engines. In 2006, people search is expected to become another major vertical in the Internet search category. More and more professionals will want to make sure they put their best foot forward when employers, prospects and business partners search for them, whether on generic search engines or specialized people search engines like LinkedIn or Ziggs.
Later this month, anyone visiting the LinkedIn site will be able to search for people on LinkedIn and find profiles maintained by professionals who have joined LinkedIn. However, to get details, such as what former bosses, co-workers or business partners say about someone, visitors will need to sign up for a free LinkedIn membership. Membership has additional benefits not offered by regular search engines: LinkedIn members see shared professional connections and can get in touch with the people they find via introductions from people they already know. LinkedIn is committed to making people search smart and easy. For example, once members find someone who matches their criteria, they will be able to find professionals with similar characteristics with a single click.
Also, members will be able to create search agents that notify them of new members who match their criteria. LinkedIn is already used frequently to look up people before business meetings to learn about the backgrounds and interests of other meeting attendees, like co-workers, suppliers or potential customers. Similarly, job seekers routinely look up the profiles of employees who will be interviewing them. Some job seekers even use LinkedIn to get in touch people who used to work for their potential future boss. When it comes to career success, degrees of separation are generally more important than academic degrees.
As LinkedIn is becoming a profitable Internet business, the company has set its sights on becoming the most valuable web site for business users around the world. The company currently has 50 employees and will grow its staff based on increased revenue from premium accounts, job listings and advertising. The company is expecting the rate of membership growth to further accelerate in 2006. It took LinkedIn three years to gain five million members. Given current accelerating growth, the company anticipates that the next five million members will join LinkedIn over the next ten months and bring LinkedIn’s total membership to 10 million before the end of 2006.
While a certain percentage of new members will directly contribute to the company’s bottom line by upgrading their account or posting a job, each new member adds value to the LinkedIn network by contributing his or her professional profile. The value of the network grows stronger with each new member: in new people and in trusted professional connections. Many will also click on an ad or invite their trusted contacts, so LinkedIn is expecting healthy revenue growth without needing to introduce new premium services in 2006.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most effective business network. On LinkedIn, more than 4.2 million professionals find jobs, people and service providers through their existing network of business relationships. LinkedIn offers five premium services. Hiring managers posting jobs on LinkedIn Jobs receive candidates recommended by fellow employees or other trusted contacts. More than 250,000 service providers listed in the LinkedIn Services business-to-business directory have an opportunity to be at the top of the search results when contacts of their former clients search for recommended service providers. More than 1,000 membership organizations use LinkedIn for Groups to strengthen connections between members and develop greater loyalty to the organization. LinkedIn Business and Pro Accounts provide enhanced search and contact options. LinkedIn Personal Plus Accounts offer service providers, networkers and job seekers increased visibility in LinkedIn search results.