LINKEDIN (/ˌliŋkt.ˈɪn/ ) is a business- and employment-oriented
social networking 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 September 2016,
LinkedIn had more than 467 million accounts, out of which more than
106 million are active . As of April 2017,
LinkedIn had 500 million
members in 200 countries.
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 .
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
$26.2 billion. The acquisition was completed on December 8, 2016.
The transaction resulted in the payment of approximately $26.4 billion
in cash merger consideration.
* 1 Company overview
* 2 History
* 2.1 Founding to 2010
* 2.2 2011 to present
* 2.3 Acquisitions
* 3 Membership
User profile network
* 3.2 Security and technology
* 3.3 Applications
* 3.3.1 External, third party applications
* 3.3.2 Embedded in profile
* 3.4 Mobile
* 3.5 Groups
* 3.7 Online recruiting
* 3.8 Skills
* 3.9 Publishing platform
* 3.10 Influencers
Advertising and for-pay research
* 4 Future plans
* 4.1 Economic graph
* 5 New user interface in 2017
* 5.1 Users\' reaction
* 6 Dropped features in 2013
* 7 Business units
* 8 Reception
* 9 International restrictions
* 10 SNA
* 11 Surveillance and NSA program
* 12 See also
* 13 References
* 14 External links
LinkedIn headquarters on Stierlin Court in Mountain View,
LinkedIn is headquartered in Sunnyvale,
California , with offices in
Omaha , Chicago , Los Angeles , New York , San Francisco , Washington
, Sao 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.
Reid Hoffman , previously CEO of LinkedIn, is Chairman of the
Board. It is funded by
Sequoia Capital , Greylock , Bain Capital
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
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.
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
2011 TO PRESENT
LinkedIn office building at
222 Second Street in San Francisco
(opened in March 2016)
LinkedIn Office in Toronto.
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
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
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
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
LinkedIn to "retain its distinct brand, culture and
independence", with Weiner to remain as CEO, who would then report to
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.
In July 2012,
LinkedIn acquired 15 key
Digg patents for $4 million
including a "click a button to vote up a story " patent.
000000002010-08-04-0000August 4, 2010
Adaptive personalization of content
000000002010-09-23-0000September 23, 2010
Social B2B Reviews
Rate and review B2B service providers
000000002011-01-26-0000January 26, 2011
Scan and import business cards
000000002011-10-05-0000October 5, 2011
000000002011-10-11-0000October 11, 2011
000000002012-02-22-0000February 22, 2012
000000002012-05-03-0000May 3, 2012
LinkedIn members a way to discover people through content
000000002013-04-11-0000April 11, 2013
Web / Mobile newsreader
Definitive professional publishing platform
000000002014-02-06-0000February 6, 2014
000000002014-07-14-0000July 14, 2014
Allows users to follow real news about their
LinkedIn contacts, and public figures.
000000002014-07-22-0000July 22, 2014
Helps advertisers reach businesses and professionals
000000002015-03-16-0000March 16, 2015
Helps businesses hire people using social media
000000002015-04-02-0000April 2, 2015
Surfaces insights about people in your networks right before you
000000002015-04-09-0000April 9, 2015
Lets users learn business, technology, software, and creative
skills through videos
000000002015-08-28-0000August 28, 2015
Predictive Sales and
Using data science to help companies close more sales
000000002016-02-04-0000February 4, 2016
Helps companies with their recruiting
000000002016-07-26-0000July 26, 2016
Lets salespeople share visual content with prospective clients to
help seal the deal
In 2013, a class action lawsuit entitled Perkins vs.
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 .
Social media websites can also use "traditional" marketing
approaches, as seen in these LinkedIn-branded chocolates.
As of 2015,
LinkedIn had more than 400 million members in over 200
countries and territories. It is significantly ahead of its
Viadeo (50 million as of 2013) and
XING (11 million as of
2016). In 2011, its membership grew by approximately two new 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
* Users can follow different companies.
* Users can save (i.e. bookmark) jobs that they would like to apply
* Users can "like" and "congratulate" each other's updates and new
* Users can wish each other a happy birthday.
* Users can see who has visited their profile page.
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
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
. 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.
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
On February 12, 2015
their developer API. The developer API allows both companies and
individuals the ability to interact with LinkedIn's data through
creation of managed third party applications. Applications must go
through a review process and request permission from the user before
accessing a user's data.
Normal use of the API is outlined in LinkedIn\'s developer documents,
* Sign into external services using LinkedIn
* Add items or attributes to a user profile
* Share items or articles to user's timeline
On a more rare occasion, applications have been developed by third
parties to extend LinkedIn's native functions. For instance, LinkedIn
does not allow users to define images that correlate with articles or
links they share, but this can be done using a third party application
LinkedIn Advanced Share.
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
LinkedIn profile. In November 2010,
businesses to list products and services on company profile pages; it
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,
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
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.
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
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.
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
ADVERTISING AND FOR-PAY RESEARCH
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,
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.
Facebook 's "social graph ",
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 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.
DROPPED FEATURES IN 2013
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.
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
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 Talent (for
LinkedIn JobSeeker, and
LinkedIn Sales for sales
* Learning Solutions, through which users can learn various skills
related to their job function or personal learning goals, on the
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
also received criticism, primarily regarding e-mail address mining and
* The sign-up process includes a step for entering your email
password (there is an opt-out feature).
LinkedIn will then offer to
send out contact invitations to all members in your address book or
that you have had email conversation 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.
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
* 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
LinkedIn thereafter. LinkedIn's mobile app was also
Google Play Store and iOS App Store in Russia in January
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
SURVEILLANCE AND NSA PROGRAM
2013 global surveillance disclosures
2013 global surveillance disclosures , documents released by
Edward Snowden revealed that British Government Communications
GCHQ ) (an intelligence and security organisation)
infiltrated the Belgian telecommunications network
Belgacom by luring
employees to a false
List of social networking websites
* Reputation systems
Timeline of social media
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