LinkedIn is a professional business-related social networking website. The site allows registered users to maintain a list of connections, which can be utilized in a number of ways: users can find jobs, follow different companies and be notified of openings, post photos, and bookmark jobs they would like to apply for, while employers can search for potential candidates. Created in December 2002 by Reid Hoffman and founding team members from Paypal and Socialnet.com, the site was officially launched in May 2003. By the end of the first month, LinkedIn had 4,500 members in the network. The company’s CEO is Jeff Weiner, a previous Yahoo! executive, and the management board is composed of other executives from Microsoft, Google, TiVo, Paypal, and Electronic Arts. As of June 30, 2011, LinkedIn gains members at faster than two new members per second, with members from India, USA, Netherlands, Spain, Pakistan, Europe, and other places around the world. In 2008, LinkedIn launched a feature called DirectAds, a form of sponsored advertising. The company gains revenue from hiring and marketing solutions, along with subscriptions. According to a Mashable Business article, LinkedIn produced $121 million in revenue and $4.5 million in income in Q2 2011. As of August 4, 2011, LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the Internet.
LinkedIn has responded to the rapidly changing digital world with grace. The company has released several products and utilized marketing techniques that take advantage of this culture’s obsession with technology. On March 10, 2011, LinkedIn announced a new feature called “LinkedInToday,” which only delivers information that is relevant to a user’s network and industry. Furthermore, LinkedIn Today is a mobile feature and part of the LinkedIn iPhone App. A user can see what professionals from their industry are reading, and users can share stories through Twitter and StumbleUpon. CEO Jeff Weiner announced one of the objectives of LinkedIn is to be wherever professionals work, which includes extending the product to mobile phones and web platforms. By creating LinkedIn Today and joining it with two popular social media websites, the company capitalizes on the public’s desire for what technology has to offer: convenience. Moreover, LinkedIn made the smart decision to target mobile users, and more specifically, take advantage of the frequency people use social networking sites on their cell phones. The company’s mobile products have been redesigned for the mobile web (including Google Android and Apple iOS) with a slicker appearance and several new features. The new mobile app includes an updated Inbox and gives users the ability to update statuses, share changes about employment, and interact with other LinkedIn users. The company has made their product more accessible through mobile phones, which takes advantage of the digital culture and expands their reach. Finally, LinkedIn’s marketing techniques utilize many popular social media sites. On Youtube, LinkedIn owns an official channel along with a “Tech Talk” channel. Furthermore, LinkedIn uses Twitter, Facebook, and a company blog to release information to the public. Overall, LinkedIn has excelled at handling the current generation’s increasingly technological culture.