LinkedIn is bragging again - Feature on Advertising Age

I recently came across a link that was shared to me via the LinkedIn "Network Activity" feed- sound much like news feed? The link directed me to Advertising Age's online article, "Why LinkedIn Is the Social Network That Will Never Die." I'll want to share some exerts from the article as well as my feedback and response. Hopefully someone will agree with me.

Ok- so it's growing. This is a good thing. However, where is the information about how many users login day-to-day and/or utilize LinkedIn to its potential. My guess would be somewhere in the ballpark of less than 1,000,000.

"Another feature recently launched is "Company Pages," extremely similar to Facebook Pages. Companies have jumped on the feature like a starving hyena on the fresh carcass of an elephant. Just in one week, more than 40,000 companies signed up, since now marketers can use the page to promote new products and ...yes, engage with their customers. Kodak said the feature is relatively new for it, but hopes to expand on its capabilities. "We have been able to add more information about us and our products/services," said Brian Nizinsky, online marketing manager at Kodak. "This gives our audience more ways to interact with us and that should only increase as the LinkedIn user base starts using those features more.""

Company pages were a great add for LinkedIn, although I'd like to assert that LinkedIn should have been first to implement this feature- given its very purpose for existence. Slow or now, it still launched the company sites. However...

  • Missing administrative functions? How come I can change my company's operating status to "Out of Business" in three clicks all because I'm listed as an employee?
  • Shouldn't someone have to register this company using a company approved email address? Ie, @kodak.com. I'd be more inclined to suggest the LinkedIn should impose even more strick measures to ensure that company pages are authentic.

  • Free jobs tabs in groups, but only available to company pages with (costly) upgrade? Shame! Our jobs are the bread and butter for your very existence, LinkedIn.

  • Features, features, features. Facebook allows company pages to add links, discussions, discussion groups, images, video, and more for free. You don't even want to know what LinkedIn is charging for similar features.

"Revenue comes from three sources -- advertising, premium subscriptions and corporate recruiting. Mr. Weiner said the streams are fairly even. Even though as recently as 2009 -- when the company was raising its last round of funding -- Mr. Weiner was comfortable saying to various publications that LinkedIn's revenue was close to $100 million per year, he is no longer providing revenue numbers. To some, this could only mean one thing: an IPO."

Ok. Understandable. LinkedIn has to make money to exist. It's simple economics-but what concerns me is how far LinkedIn has gone to impose higher fees and subscriptions in a short period of time, but the fees imposed on end users who actually want to use the site to its potential. It almost seems that the revenue source (users/employers) are being targeted at a rate that is unsustainable- the increases plus new fees are not keeping pace with implementation of new features. Talent sourcing is becoming increasingly difficult as well- what am I going to do with someone's first name anyway?

At the end of the day, LinkedIn is still one of the most valuable tools around for both the employer and end user/job seeker. However, I hope that it doesn't oversell itself too soon. LinkedIn is purposely restricting how much information we're allowed to share with one another for the purpose of revenue generation- so in that sense that article is dead on when it states that LinkedIn is not a social media platform (anymore).

Original article can be found at: http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=147475
(AdvertisingAge "Why LinkedIn Is the Social Network That Will Never Die"

Views: 125

Comment by Paul Alfred on December 7, 2010 at 6:27pm
@Rayanne... The Tide only turns if companies fail to keep re-innovating - Look at Google and Apple did just that ... What kills me is Facebook is it really worth 21 Billion dream evaluations - its only got 500 million users as there is nothing better or nothing sticky enough "yet" .... At least LinkedIn has found a way to monetize their site and create some revenue streams it has some real value .. Even though we live in a world where value is measured by the amount of users and time on spent on a site as supposed to the money they actually spend on a site ...
Comment by Justin McMillin on December 7, 2010 at 6:39pm
Good for linkedin and finding a revenue stream... But do not charge the end user! We're the reason that linkedin exists.
Comment by Heather R. Huhman on December 10, 2010 at 10:27am
Hi Justin,

Great post. I understand that users and employers value the exclusivity of LinkedIn, but the “revenue source (users/employers)” is going to find an alternative that is budget-friendly and has a better ROI.

I prefer social media recruiting systems (like Cachinko), which provide better branding than LinkedIn, talent communities where you can connect with employees and candidates, and social media job sharing tools (good-bye LinkedIn).
Comment by Justin McMillin on December 10, 2010 at 7:25pm
40% is a VERY liberal estimate! Especially considering that college students make up a big chunk of the LinkedIn population. They tend to create the profile and get set up- but never update until years later. That was my personal experience as an undergrad at one point.

Yes- so many removed features, rate instructions/hikes, and more. It's becoming more and more of a joke. Give us a jobs tab on groups, but not on corporate pages (unless we have 10k+ budgeted).

Boolean + grass rooting + referrals + pipelining/maintaining + industry networking = success!

LinkedIn = not so much ... and to that end I purchased http://linkedinto.com and plan on developing the site to be a free resource guide/linkedin mocking area. : ) Looking for help though. I know the last thing we need is another startup, but if I can provide some of the metric/assessment data and other resources it might be worth a shot. Not looking to go all corporate crazy on anyone.

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