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About LinkedIn Professional Networking Online

LinkedIn (pronounced IPA: /ˈlɪŋktˈɪn/) is a business-oriented social networking site founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003[2] mainly used for professional networking. As of December 2007, its site traffic was 3.2 million visitors per month, up 485% from the end of 2006. As of May 2008, it had more than 24 million registered users, spanning 150 industries.

Company info

LinkedIn's CEO is Dan Nye. As of February 2007, founder and former CEO Reid Hoffman, previously an executive vice president of PayPal, remains President of Product and Chairman of the Board. LinkedIn is located in Mountain View, California, and funded by Greylock, Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and the European Founders Fund. LinkedIn reached profitability in March 2006. 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.


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.

The feature LinkedIn Answers, 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 free LinkedIn Groups, feature allows users to establish new business relationships by joining alumni, industry, or professional and other relevant groups. The Group Directory is searchable.

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

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.

Social Networking Sites with comparable features to LinkedIn

Various websites such as, Yahoo! HotJobs, and specialize in job search. Reputation systems are increasingly common across the Web. Ryze was one of the earliest online social networking sites to offer online business networking, but more recently most social networks facilitate professional networking to one degree or another, either as native features or via third-party software application widgets. Many of the specific features (such as answers or testimonials) are common web features.


LinkedIn has sometimes been criticized for changes and limitations placed on its users. For example:

* Restricting visibility on the actual number of connections (displaying "500+" instead of the actual number);[14]
* Limiting the total number of invitations (heavily-connected users would run out of invites without an easy way to replenish the invitation stock); and Restricting membership to no more than 50 "groups" and enforcing that limit retroactively.

Social Networking/Business/Resources

See also


1. ^ "Announcing LinkedIn News on". LinkedIn Marketing (December 10, 2007). Retrieved on 2008-06-03.
2. ^ "Linked-In - Profile". alarm:clock (2004-08-06). Retrieved on 2008-01-17.
3. ^ The Private Equity Value of to News Corp and the Wall Street Journal, by Beckel, Simon Dec 2007
4. ^ "What is LinkedIn?". LinkedIn. Retrieved on 2008-03-10.
5. ^ About LinkedIn: Management
6. ^ Social networking site LinkedIn plans IPO | LinkedIn IPO
7. ^ "Press Release about Sequoia Capital Investing in LinkedIn". Retrieved on 2007-11-14.
8. ^ LinkedIn: Press Releases: LinkedIn Premium Services Finding Rapid Adoption
9. ^ "LinkedIn networks way to $53-million investment". The Los Angeles Times (2008-06-17). Retrieved on 2008-06-17.
10. ^ "Privacy Policy". LinkedIn (July 14, 2006). Retrieved on 2008-01-17.
11. ^ “LinkedIn Answers” unlocks the world’s best source of business knowledge: trusted professionals
12. ^ "LinkedIn Groups FAQ".
13. ^ "Social-networking site LinkedIN introduces mobile version", Retrieved on 2008-02-25.
14. ^ "Why MyLink500?"
15. ^ "How Can I Get More LinkedIn Invitations?"
16. ^ "Upcoming Changes for LinkedIn Groups"

External links

  • LinkedIn web site (mobile version)
    • The LinkedIn Corporate Blog Describes LinkedIn community roles and activities.
    • LinkedIn Venture Capital Bio
    • Reid Hoffman shares his thoughts on launching and growing a successful technology business video
    • PDFs on Linkedin & Networking Lots of great PDFs on Linkedin & Networking

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