LinkedIn calls themselves the “World’s Largest Professional Network”. LinkedIn is the Facebook of the business world.
Name: LinkedIn (Visit LinkedIn)
Type: Business Social Networking
Best Website For: Professional Social Networking
Reason it's on The Best Sites:
LinkedIn is the go-to social network for professionals. Recruiters will connect with you and let you know about potential positions. Industry professionals will litter your feed with interesting reads.
Each of us has our own background that helps shape who we are. Our experiences allow us to bring new perspectives, offer new ways of thinking and working, and contribute in ways that others might not be able to. This World Refugee Day, we’re celebrating the contributions that refugees all over the world offer our teams and communities. Having fled their homes to build better, safer lives, they inspire us in the pursuit of their own definition of success. Take Carlos Viloria, an equipment...
Success – a word that can mean many different things to different people, especially when it comes to work. The challenge we face is that even today people are held back by the restraints of tradition, defining success by stereotypical notions of promotions, seniority and the corner office. The truth is, just like the constantly changing nature of work, our perceptions of professional success need to evolve too. In fact, according to a YouGov survey we did last year, over a quarter of British...
Did you know that seven out of 10 employees who receive appreciation for their work say they’re happy with their jobs? While it may not be a big surprise that people who are recognized for a job well done are more satisfied at work, being appreciated also leads to higher creativity and productivity. Saying thank you and recognizing others is also something we see happening frequently on LinkedIn, so we wanted to make it even easier for you to give a shout-out to those that make a difference in...
Faced with frequent moves and deployments, military spouses have a unique challenge when it comes to growing their careers - in fact, they are four times more likely to be unemployed than their civilian counterparts. In order to help set them up for success, re-skilling and re-training are key as well as identifying remote and flexible work options. To help solve this pressing challenge, LinkedIn is expanding our military and veterans program to include military spouses through a new...
Introducing Your Commute on LinkedIn Jobs: Explore Travel Time When Looking for Your Next Job
We know commuting is a pain point for many job-seekers, in fact 85% of U.S. professionals say they would take a pay cut for a shorter commute. Today, we’re introducing a feature, “Your Commute”, that can help you understand your potential commute time, whether you’re walking, driving or taking public transportation, before you even apply for the role. There are a lot of factors that go into understanding if a job is the right fit for you, and taking the time to research can often be a roadblock...
Hiring Trends up From This Time Last Year: LinkedIn Workforce Report June 2018
The oil industry turns up the heat on hiring – Nationally, across all industries, gross hiring in the U.S. was 4.5% higher than in May 2017. Seasonally-adjusted national hiring was up 5.3% in May from April 2018. Hiring in the oil and energy industry, on the upswing since its recent trough in mid-2016, rose by 5.2% over the past year. With oil prices at their highest since December 2014, a comparison of oil prices and industry hiring shows tight correlation: when oil prices dipped between...
Whether sharing a new idea, celebrating a team milestone or asking a question, LinkedIn members are finding interesting ways to share their work lives with video. Since rolling out new stickers and text styles for video, we’ve been continually impressed by the creative ways that members are using video to connect with their communities and share their work. We wanted to share some of examples to help inspire and get you started. Show your work A professional in the environmental industry...
Knowing whether or not you’re a good fit for a role is one of the most challenging parts of the job hunt. Being able to understand exactly how your skills and experience match with what a potential employer is looking for can feel like solving a riddle with no clear answer. Today, we’re announcing a feature to help ease that process - How You Match. Now, when you view a job on LinkedIn, look toward the right-hand side of the page to find How You Match. You’ll find a checklist of how factors,...
College graduation is an exciting time, you’re getting ready to embark on the next chapter of your life. But it can be overwhelming and on top of that, there’s more students graduating than ever before. But the good news is that you’re not in this alone. We took a look at where the class of 2016-2017 ended up after graduation and examined the types of roles, companies, industries, and locations where they landed. Read on and get ready to start flexing those interview muscles. Apply Now!...
Win a Dream Experience Managing Social for Justin Timberlake from Live Nation and LinkedIn
Earlier this year, we unveiled the LinkedIn Top Companies list, which highlights the most sought-after companies where professionals want to work and stay. Now we are teaming up with one of the top companies, Live Nation, to offer a professional on LinkedIn the chance to experience a day in the life of a Live Nation employee and help manage social media for Justin Timberlake’s “The Man of the Woods Tour" from Live Nation’s social accounts. Starting today, professionals can enter to win a chance...
YouNoodle | Browse startups. Find exceptional people. 163655
YouNoodle helps people and groups that are interested in startups and innovation do what they do better. We provide business competition, event, networking and mailing list functionality for real-world groups that support startup communities. For investors, we're building technology to help inform their decisions. YouNoodle.com is a place to discover and get involved with the hottest startups and university innovation that's happening right now. ...
A business information search engine, providing company search, people search and job search. It constructs profiles on people and companies, drawn from the Web, or created by individuals and companies for themselves.
Offers a suite of online web applications geared towards increasing productivity and easy collaboration. Office tools include a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, hosted wiki, notebook, mail, and CRM.
Zillow.com launched its beta service in February 2006, with the goal of empowering consumers with tools and information to transform how they buy and sell homes. Zillow was started by a group of Internet veterans, including Expedia founder and former CEO Rich Barton and former Expedia Senior Vice President Lloyd Frink.
The new social and business network connecting people, companies and groups, based on who they are, what they're interested in and what they're looking for.
LinkedIn's traffic is ranked 34 globally
|Type of business||Subsidiary|
Type of site
|Social network service|
|Available in||Multilingual (24)|
|Founded||December 28, 2002 (2002-12-28)
Mountain View, California, U.S.
|Headquarters||Sunnyvale, California, U.S.|
Reid Hoffman (Chairman)
Jeff Weiner (CEO)
|Revenue||US$3 billion (2015)|
|Net income||US$−166 million (2015)|
|Employees||9,732 (March 2016)|
|Alexa rank||31 (February 2018)|
|Users||530 million members (January 2018)|
|Launched||May 5, 2003 (2003-05-05)|
LinkedIn (//) is a business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Founded on December 28, 2002, and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs. As of 2015, most of the company's revenue came from selling access to information about its members to recruiters and sales professionals. As of April 2017, LinkedIn had 500 million members in 200 countries, out of which more than 106 million members are active. LinkedIn allows members (both workers and employers) to create profiles and "connections" to each other in an online social network which may represent real-world professional relationships. Members can invite anyone (whether an existing member or not) to become a connection. The "gated-access approach" (where contact with any professional requires either an existing relationship or an introduction through a contact of theirs) is intended to build trust among the service's members. LinkedIn participated in the EU's International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles.
The site has an Alexa Internet ranking as the 20th most popular website (October 2016). According to the New York Times, US high school students are now creating LinkedIn profiles to include with their college applications.  Based in the United States, the site is, as of 2013, available in 24 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Czech, Polish, Korean, Indonesian, Malay, and Tagalog. LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol "LNKD".
On June 13, 2016, Microsoft announced plans to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The acquisition was completed on December 8, 2016. According to the SEC filing, "The transaction resulted in the payment of approximately $26.4 billion in cash merger consideration."
- 1 Company overview
- 2 History
- 3.1 User profile network
- 3.2 Security and technology
- 3.3 Applications
- 3.4 Mobile
- 3.5 Groups
- 3.6 Job listings
- 3.7 Online recruiting
- 3.8 Skills
- 3.9 Publishing platform
- 3.10 Influencers
- 3.11 Top Companies
- 3.12 Advertising and for-pay research
- 4 Future plans
- 5 New user interface in 2017
- 6 Discontinued features
- 7 Business units
- 8 Reception
- 9 International restrictions
- 10 SNA LinkedIn
- 11 Surveillance and NSA program
- 12 Criticism
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
LinkedIn is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with offices in Omaha, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, São Paulo, London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Milan, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Stockholm, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia, Canada, India and Dubai. In January 2016, the company had around 9,200 employees.
LinkedIn's CEO is Jeff Weiner, previously a Yahoo! Inc. executive. Founder Reid Hoffman, previously CEO of LinkedIn, is Chairman of the Board. It is funded by Sequoia Capital, Greylock, Bain Capital Ventures,Bessemer Venture Partners and the European Founders Fund. LinkedIn reached profitability in March 2006. Through January 2011, the company had received a total of $103 million of investment.
Founding to 2010
The company was founded in December 2002 by Reid Hoffman and founding team members from PayPal and Socialnet.com (Allen Blue, Eric Ly, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Lee Hower, Konstantin Guericke, Stephen Beitzel, David Eves, Ian McNish, Yan Pujante, Chris Saccheri). In late 2003, Sequoia Capital led the Series A investment in the company. In August 2004, LinkedIn reached 1 million users. In March 2006, LinkedIn achieved its first month of profitability. In April 2007, LinkedIn reached 10 million users. In February 2008, LinkedIn launched a mobile version of the site.
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. In November 2009, LinkedIn opened its office in Mumbai and soon thereafter in Sydney, as it started its Asia-Pacific team expansion. In 2010, LinkedIn opened an International Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, received a $20 million investment from Tiger Global Management LLC at a valuation of approximately $2 billion, announced its first acquisition, Mspoke, and improved its 1% premium subscription ratio. In October of that year, Silicon Valley Insider ranked the company No. 10 on its Top 100 List of most valuable start ups. By December, the company was valued at $1.575 billion in private markets.
2011 to present
LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011. The company traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol "LNKD", at $45 per share. Shares of LinkedIn rose as much as 171% on their first day of trade on the New York Stock Exchange and closed at $94.25, more than 109% above IPO price. Shortly after the IPO, the site's underlying infrastructure was revised to allow accelerated revision-release cycles. In 2011, LinkedIn earned $154.6 million in advertising revenue alone, surpassing Twitter, which earned $139.5 million. LinkedIn's fourth-quarter 2011 earnings soared because of the company's increase in success in the social media world. By this point, LinkedIn had about 2,100 full-time employees compared to the 500 that it had in 2010.
In Q2 2012, LinkedIn leased 57,120 square feet on three floors of the One Montgomery Tower building in the Financial District of San Francisco, which was expanded to 135,000 square feet by 2014. In May 2012, LinkedIn announced that its Q1 2012 revenues were up to $188.5 million compared to $93.9 million in Q1 2011. Net income increased 140% over Q1 2011 to $5 million. Revenue for Q2 was estimated to be between $210 to $215 million. In November 2012, LinkedIn released its third quarter earnings, reporting earnings-per-share of $0.22 on revenue of $252 million. As a result of these numbers, LinkedIn's stock increased to roughly $112 a share.
In April 2014, LinkedIn announced that it had leased 222 Second Street, a 26-story building under construction in San Francisco's SoMa district, to accommodate up to 2,500 of its employees, with the lease covering 10 years. The goal was to join all San Francisco-based staff (1,250 as of January 2016) in one building, bringing sales and marketing employees together with the research and development team. They started to move in in March 2016. In February 2016, following an earnings report, LinkedIn's shares dropped 43.6% within a single day, down to $108.38 per share. LinkedIn lost $10 billion of its market capitalization that day.
On June 13, 2016, Microsoft announced that it would acquire LinkedIn for $196 a share, a total value of $26.2 billion and the largest acquisition made by Microsoft to date. The acquisition would be an all-cash, debt-financed transaction. Microsoft would allow LinkedIn to "retain its distinct brand, culture and independence", with Weiner to remain as CEO, who would then report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Analysts believed Microsoft saw the opportunity to integrate LinkedIn with its Office product suite to help better integrate the professional network system with its products. The deal was completed on December 8, 2016.
In late 2016, LinkedIn announced a planned increase of 200 new positions in its Dublin office, which would bring the total employee count to 1,200.
|1||000000002010-08-04-0000August 4, 2010||mspoke||Adaptive personalization of content||USA||$0.6 million||LinkedIn Recommendations|||
|2||000000002010-09-23-0000September 23, 2010||ChoiceVendor||Social B2B Reviews||USA||$3.9 million||Rate and review B2B service providers|||
|3||000000002011-01-26-0000January 26, 2011||CardMunch||Social Contacts||USA||$1.7 million||Scan and import business cards|||
|4||000000002011-10-05-0000October 5, 2011||Connected||Social CRM||USA||-||LinkedIn Connected|||
|5||000000002011-10-11-0000October 11, 2011||IndexTank||Social search||USA||-||LinkedIn Search|||
|6||000000002012-02-22-0000February 22, 2012||Rapportive||Social Contacts||USA||$15 million||-|||
|7||000000002012-05-03-0000May 3, 2012||SlideShare||Social Content||USA||$119 million||Give LinkedIn members a way to discover people through content|||
|8||000000002013-04-11-0000April 11, 2013||Pulse||Web / Mobile newsreader||USA||$90 million||Definitive professional publishing platform|||
|9||000000002014-02-06-0000February 6, 2014||Bright.com||Job Matching||USA||$120 million|||
|10||000000002014-07-14-0000July 14, 2014||Newsle||Web application||USA||-||Allows users to follow real news about their Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, and public figures.|||
|11||000000002014-07-22-0000July 22, 2014||Bizo||Web application||USA||$175 million||Helps advertisers reach businesses and professionals|||
|12||000000002015-03-16-0000March 16, 2015||Careerify||Web application||Canada||-||Helps businesses hire people using social media|||
|13||000000002015-04-02-0000April 2, 2015||Refresh.io||Web application||USA||-||Surfaces insights about people in your networks right before you meet them|||
|14||000000002015-04-09-0000April 9, 2015||Lynda.com||eLearning||USA||$1.5 billion||Lets users learn business, technology, software, and creative skills through videos|||
|15||000000002015-08-28-0000August 28, 2015||Fliptop||Predictive Sales and Marketing Firm||USA||-||Using data science to help companies close more sales|||
|16||000000002016-02-04-0000February 4, 2016||Connectifier||Web application||USA||-||Helps companies with their recruiting|||
|17||000000002016-07-26-0000July 26, 2016||PointDrive||Web application||USA||-||Lets salespeople share visual content with prospective clients to help seal the deal|||
In 2013, a class action lawsuit entitled Perkins vs. LinkedIn Corp was filed against the company, accusing it of automatically sending invitations to contacts in a member's email address book without permission. The court agreed with LinkedIn that permission had in fact been given for invitations to be sent, but not for the two further reminder emails. LinkedIn settled the lawsuit in 2015 for $13 million. Many members should have received a notice in their email with the subject line "Legal Notice of Settlement of Class Action". The Case No. is 13-CV-04303-LHK .
As of 2015, LinkedIn had more than 400 million members in over 200 countries and territories. It is significantly ahead of its competitors Viadeo (50 million as of 2013) and XING (11 million as of 2016). In 2011, its membership grew by approximately two new members every second. As of 2018, there are over half a billion LinkedIn members.
User profile network
The basic functionality of LinkedIn allows users (workers and employers) to create profiles, which for employees typically consist of a curriculum vitae describing their work experience, education and training, skills, and a personal photo. The site also enables members to make "connections" to each other in an online social network which may represent real-world professional relationships. Members can invite anyone (whether a site member or not) to become a connection. However, if the invitee selects "I don't know" or "Spam", this counts against the inviter. If the inviter gets too many of such responses, the member's account may be restricted or closed.
A member's list of connections can then be used in a number of ways:
- Users can obtain introductions to the connections of connections (termed second-degree connections) and connections of second-degree connections (termed third-degree connections)
- Users can search for second-degree connections who work at a specific company they are interested in, and then ask a specific first-degree connection in common for an introduction
- Users can 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 follow different companies.
- Users can save (i.e. bookmark) jobs that they would like to apply for.
- Users can "like" and "congratulate" each other's updates and new employments.
- Users can wish each other a happy birthday.
- Users can see who has visited their profile page.
- Users can share video with text and filters with the introduction of LinkedIn Video.
- Users can write posts and articles within the LinkedIn platform to share with their network.
The "gated-access approach" (where contact with any professional requires either an existing relationship, or the intervention of a contact of theirs) is intended to build trust among the service's users. LinkedIn participated in the EU's International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles.
Security and technology
In June 2012, cryptographic hashes of approximately 6.4 million LinkedIn user passwords were stolen by hackers who then published the stolen hashes online. This action is known as the 2012 LinkedIn hack. In response to the incident, LinkedIn asked its users to change their passwords. Security experts criticized LinkedIn for not salting their password file and for using a single iteration of SHA-1. On May 31, 2013 LinkedIn added two-factor authentication, an important security enhancement for preventing hackers from gaining access to accounts. In May 2016, 117 million LinkedIn usernames and passwords were offered for sale online for the equivalent of $2,200. These account details are believed to be sourced from the original 2012 LinkedIn hack, in which the number of user IDs stolen had been underestimated. To handle the large volume of emails sent to its users every day with notifications for messages, profile views, important happenings in their network, and other things, LinkedIn uses the Momentum email platform from Message Systems.
In 2014, Dell SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) discovered that Threat Group-2889, an Iran-based group, created 25 fake LinkedIn accounts. The accounts were either fully developed personas or supporting personas, and they use spearphishing or malicious websites to comprise victims' information.
LinkedIn 'applications' often refers to external third party applications that interact with LinkedIn's developer API. However, in some cases it could refer to sanctioned applications featured on a user's profile page.
External, third party applications
Normal use of the API is outlined in LinkedIn's developer documents, including:
- Sign into external services using LinkedIn
- Add items or attributes to a user profile
- Share items or articles to user's timeline
Embedded in profile
In October 2008, LinkedIn enabled an "applications platform" which allows external 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. 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. Shortly after, some of the external services were no longer supported, including Amazon's Reading List
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. In January 2011, LinkedIn acquired CardMunch, a mobile app maker that scans business cards and converts into contacts. In June 2013, CardMunch was noted as an available LinkedIn app. In August 2011, LinkedIn revamped its mobile applications on the iPhone, Android and HTML5. At the time, mobile page views of the application were increasing roughly 400% year over year according to CEO Jeff Weiner. In October 2013, LinkedIn announced a service for iPhone users called "Intro", which inserts a thumbnail of a person's LinkedIn profile in correspondence with that person when reading mail messages in the native iOS Mail program. This is accomplished by re-routing all emails from and to the iPhone through LinkedIn servers, which security firm Bishop Fox asserts has serious privacy implications, violates many organizations' security policies, and resembles a man-in-the-middle attack.
LinkedIn also supports the formation of interest groups, and as of March 29, 2012 there are 1,248,019 such groups whose membership varies from 1 to 744,662. 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 functionality 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. Groups also keep their members informed through emails with updates to the group, including most talked about discussions within your professional circles. 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.
In December 2011, LinkedIn announced that they are rolling out polls to groups. In November 2013, LinkedIn announced the addition of Showcase Pages to the platform. In 2014, LinkedIn announced they were going to be removing Product and Services Pages paving the way for a greater focus on Showcase Pages.
LinkedIn allows users to research companies, non-profit organizations, and governments they may be interested in working for. Typing the name of a company or organization in the search box causes pop-up data about the company or organization to appear. Such data 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, and 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. The new plugin allowed potential employees to apply for positions using their LinkedIn profiles as resumes.
Job recruiters, head hunters, and personnel HR are increasingly using LinkedIn as a source for finding potential candidates. By using the Advanced search tools, recruiters can find members matching their specific key words with a click of a button. They then can make contact with those members by sending a request to connect or by sending InMail about a specific job opportunity he or she may have. Recruiters also often join industry based groups on LinkedIn to create connections with professionals in that line of business.
Since September 2012, LinkedIn has enabled users to "endorse" each other's skills. This feature also allows users to efficiently provide commentary on other users' profiles – network building is reinforced. However, there is no way of flagging anything other than positive content. LinkedIn solicits endorsements using algorithms that generate skills members might have. Members cannot opt out of such solicitations, with the result that it sometimes appears that a member is soliciting an endorsement for a non-existent skill.
LinkedIn continues to add different services to its platform to expand the ways that people use it. On May 7, 2015, LinkedIn added an analytics tool to its publishing platform. The tool allows authors to better track traffic that their posts receive.
The LinkedIn Influencers program launched in October 2012 and features global thought leaders who share their professional insights with LinkedIn's members. As of May 2016, there are 750+ Influencers, approximately 74% of which are male. The program is invite-only and features leaders from a range of industries including Richard Branson, Narendra Modi, Arianna Huffington, Greg McKeown, Rahm Emanuel, Jamie Dimon, Martha Stewart, Deepak Chopra, Jack Welch, and Bill Gates.
LinkedIn Top Companies is a series of lists published by LinkedIn, identifying companies in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India and the United Kingdom that are attracting the most intense interest from job candidates. The 2018 lists identified Amazon as the most sought-after U.S. company, with Google's parent company, Alphabet ranked second and Facebook ranked third. The lists are based on more than one billion actions by LinkedIn members worldwide. The Top Companies lists were started in 2016 and are published annually.
Advertising and for-pay research
In mid-2008, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn DirectAds as a form of sponsored advertising. In October 2008, LinkedIn revealed plans to open 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. On July 23, 2013, LinkedIn announced their Sponsored Updates ad service. Individuals and companies can now pay a fee to have LinkedIn sponsor their content and spread it to their user base. This is a common way for social media sites such as LinkedIn to generate revenue.
Inspired by Facebook's "social graph", LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner set a goal in 2012 to create an "economic graph" within a decade. The goal is to create a comprehensive digital map of the world economy and the connections within it. The economic graph was to be built on the company's current platform with data nodes including companies, jobs, skills, volunteer opportunities, educational institutions, and content. They have been hoping to include all the job listings in the world, all the skills required to get those jobs, all the professionals who could fill them, and all the companies (nonprofit and for-profit) at which they work. The ultimate goal is to make the world economy and job market more efficient through increased transparency. In June 2014, the company announced its "Galene" search architecture to give users access to the economic graph's data with more thorough filtering of data, via user searches like "Engineers with Hadoop experience in Brazil."
LinkedIn has used economic graph data to research several topics on the job market, including popular destination cities of recent college graduates, areas with high concentrations of technology skills, and common career transitions. LinkedIn provided the City of New York with data from economic graph showing "in-demand" tech skills for the city's "Tech Talent Pipeline" project.
New user interface in 2017
Soon after LinkedIn's acquisition by Microsoft, on January 19, 2017, LinkedIn's new desktop version was introduced. The new version was meant to make the user experience seamless across mobile and desktop. Some of the changes were made according to the feedback received from the previously launched mobile app. Features that were not heavily used were removed. For example, the contact tagging and filtering features are not supported any more.
Following the launch of the new interface, some users, including blogger Zubair Abbas, complained about the missing features which were there in the older version, slowness and bugs in the UI. The issues were faced by both free and premium users, and with both the desktop version and the mobile version of the site.
In January 2013, LinkedIn dropped support for LinkedIn Answers, and cited a new 'focus on development of new and more engaging ways to share and discuss professional topics across LinkedIn' as the reason for the retirement of the feature. The feature had been launched in 2007, and allowed users to post question to their network and allowed users to rank answers.
On September 1, 2014 LinkedIn retired InMaps, a feature which allowed you to visualize your professional network. The feature had been in use since January 2011. The reason given for retirement of the feature was "Sometimes we have to retire tools we love so we can focus our attention and resources on creating even better experiences for our members. We’re currently looking at new ways to help you visualize and gain insights from your professional network. That’s why we’re discontinuing InMaps as of September 1, 2014."
LinkedIn derives its revenues from four business divisions:
- Talent Solutions, through which recruiters and corporations pay for branded corporation and career listing pages, pay-per-click targeted job ads, and access to the LinkedIn database of users and resumes
- Marketing Solutions, which advertisers pay for pay per click-through targeted ads
- Premium Subscriptions, through which LinkedIn users can pay for advanced services, such as LinkedIn Business, LinkedIn Talent (for recruiters), LinkedIn JobSeeker, and LinkedIn Sales for sales professions
- Learning Solutions, through which users can learn various skills related to their job function or personal learning goals, on the Lynda.com or LinkedIn Learning platforms
Some elements of the various subscription services are also on a pay per use basis like InMail.
LinkedIn has been described by online trade publication TechRepublic as having "become the de facto tool for professional networking". LinkedIn has also been praised for its usefulness in fostering business relationships. "LinkedIn is, far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today," according to Forbes. LinkedIn has also received criticism, primarily regarding e-mail address mining and auto-update.
- The sign-up process includes a step for users to enter their email password (there is an opt-out feature). LinkedIn will then offer to send out contact invitations to all members in that address book or that the user has had email conversations with. When the member's email address book is opened it is opened with all email addresses selected and the member is advised invitations will be sent to "selected" email addresses, or to all. Up to 1,500 invitations can then be sent out in one click, with no possibility to undo or withdraw them. LinkedIn was sued for sending out another two follow-up invitations to each contact from members to link to friends who had ignored the initial, authorized, invitation. In November 2014, LinkedIn lost a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, in a ruling that the invitations were advertisements not broadly protected by free speech rights that would otherwise permit use of people's names and images without authorization. The lawsuit was eventually settled in 2015 in favor of LinkedIn members.
- Changing the description below a member's name is seen as a change in a job title, even if it is just a wording change or even a change to "unemployed". Unless a member opts to "turn off activity updates", an update is sent to all of that person's contacts, telling them to congratulate the member on the "new job".
- The feature that allows LinkedIn members to "endorse" each other's skills and experience has been criticized as meaningless, since the endorsements are not necessarily accurate or given by people who have familiarity with the member's skills. In October 2016, LinkedIn acknowledged that it "really does matter who endorsed you" and began highlighting endorsements from "coworkers and other mutual connections" to address the criticism.
- In 2014, the Catalan language advocacy organization Fundació puntCat launched an online campaign asking LinkedIn to support the language both in the platform's interface and as CV language; it gained more than 3000 online signatures. In 2016, Plataforma per la Llengua started another campaign asking for such a change.
- LinkedIn has inspired the creation of specialised professional networking opportunities, such as co-founder Eddie Lou's Chicago startup, Shiftgig (released in 2012 as a platform for hourly workers).
In 2009, Syrian users reported that LinkedIn server stopped accepting connections originating from IP addresses assigned to Syria. The company's customer support stated that 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."
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. After a day of being blocked, LinkedIn access was restored in China.
In February 2014, LinkedIn launched its Simplified Chinese language version named "领英" (pinyin: Lǐngyīng; literally: "leading elite"), officially extending their service in China. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner acknowledged in a blog post that they would have to censor some of the content that users post on its website in order to comply with Chinese rules, but he also said the benefits of providing its online service to people in China outweighed those concerns. Since Autumn 2017 job postings from western countries for China aren't possible anymore.
On 4 August 2016, a Moscow court ruled that LinkedIn must be blocked in Russia for violating a new data retention law, which requires the user data of Russian citizens to be stored on servers within the country. This ban was upheld on 10 November 2016, and all Russian ISPs began blocking LinkedIn thereafter. LinkedIn's mobile app was also banned from Google Play Store and iOS App Store in Russia in January 2017.
The Search, Network, and Analytics (SNA) team at LinkedIn has a website that hosts the open source projects built by the group. Notable among these projects is Project Voldemort, a distributed key-value structured storage system with low-latency similar in purpose to Amazon.com's Dynamo and Google's Bigtable.
Surveillance and NSA program
In the 2013 global surveillance disclosures, documents released by Edward Snowden revealed that British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) (an intelligence and security organisation) infiltrated the Belgian telecommunications network Belgacom by luring employees to a false LinkedIn page.
Use of e-mail accounts of members for spam sending
LinkedIn sends "invite emails" to Outlook contacts from its members' email accounts, without obtaining their consent. The "invitations" give the impression that the e-mail holder himself has sent the invitation. If there is no response, the answer will be repeated several times ("You have not yet answered XY's invitation.") LinkedIn was sued in the United States on charges of hijacking e-mail accounts and spamming. The company argued with the right to freedom of expression. In addition, the users concerned would be supported in building a network.
Moving Outlook mails on LinkedIn servers
The German Stiftung Warentest has criticized that the allotment of rights between users and LinkedIn is disproportionate, restricting users' rights excessively while granting the company far-reaching rights. It has also been claimed that LinkedIn does not respond to consumer protection center requests.
In November 2016, Russia announced its intention to block the network in its own country, as it "illegally stores data of Russian users on servers abroad." The relevant law had been in force there since 2014.
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