From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Image:LinkedIn logo.png
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Professional network service
Launched May 2003
Mountain View, CA, USA
Revenue $75-100 million (2008 projected)
Current status Active

LinkedIn (pronounced IPA: /ˈlɪŋktˈɪn/) is a business-oriented social networking site founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003[1] mainly used for professional networking. As of February 2009, it had more than 35 million registered users,[2] spanning 170 industries.


[edit] Company info

LinkedIn's CEO is founder Reid Hoffman. Hoffman, previously an executive vice president of PayPal, also is Chairman of the Board.

Jeff Weiner is Interim President. Weiner, previously a Yahoo Inc executive oversees day-to-day operations. Dipchand Nishar is Vice President of Products.[3] LinkedIn is located in Mountain View, California, and funded by Greylock, Sequoia Capital,[4] Bessemer Venture Partners, and the European Founders Fund. LinkedIn reached profitability in March 2006.[5] LinkedIn also has offices in Omaha, Chicago, New York, and London.

On June 17, 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.[6]

[edit] Features

The purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. The people in the list are called Connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection.

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 you wish to know through a mutual, trusted 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.

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 EU's International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles.[7]

The feature LinkedIn Answers,[8] similar to Google Answers or Yahoo! Answers, allows users to ask questions for the community to answer. This feature is free and the main differences from the two previously mentioned services are that questions are potentially more business-oriented, and the identity of the people asking and answering questions is known.

The searchable LinkedIn Groups,[9] feature allows users to establish new business relationships by joining alumni, industry, or professional and other relevant groups.

The newest LinkedIn feature is LinkedIn Polls, still in alpha.

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. [10]

In mid-2008, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn DirectAds as a form of sponsored advertising.[11]

In October, 2008, LinkedIn enabled an "applications platform" that allows other online services to be embedded within a member's profile page. For example, among the initial applications were an Amazon Reading List that allows LinkedIn members to display books they are reading and a Six Apart and WordPress application that allows members to display their latest blog postings within their LinkedIn profile.[12]

[edit] Criticism

LinkedIn has sometimes been criticized for changes and limitations on its users. For example it restricts visibility on the actual number of connections (displaying "500+" instead of the actual number),[13] limits the total number of invitations [14] and limits members to no more than 50 "groups" (a limit that was enforced retroactively).[15]

[edit] Sites with comparable features

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

Personal tools