LinkedIn turns 11, but is it a happy birthday?
On Monday, everyone’s favourite business-oriented social network LinkedIn turned 11. Boasting 277 million users, a net income of $26m in 2013, and one of the most successful tech IPOs in 2011, things have been continually rosy for chairman Reid Hoffman and CEO Jeff Weiner.
But should LinkedIn be celebrating its 11th birthday?
One look at the most recent balance sheet suggests otherwise. On May 1 LinkedIn published financial results of a $13.4m net loss in the first quarter, compared to $22.6m in the corresponding quarter last year.
The other figures weren’t too bad – revenue for Q114 was up at $473.2m, an increase of 46% compared to the $324.7m this time last year, while adjusted EBITDA was at a quarter of revenue ($116.7m). But the net loss will certainly be an issue in the boardroom, as shares tumbled by more than 6% in after-hours trading following the revenue posting, according to the BBC.
It’s reminiscent of another social network, Twitter, following an earnings call in February where analysts were almost bloodthirsty in their lust for CEO Dick Costolo to answer why the micro-blogger’s user base had stalled.
So what is the business social network doing to change this? According to the Telegraph, LinkedIn is launching a series of customised apps to drag its user base kicking and screaming into mobile.
There are four in total: Pulse, based on the news service of the same name; Recruiter, naturally an app for job seekers and employers; Contacts, a quick-reference directory for users; and SlideShare, a mobile version of the slideshow company.
It’s easy to see why LinkedIn has done this. It’s the same reason why Facebook has made its Messenger service available as a standalone. People want lots of apps that do one thing, not a few apps that do lots of things – it makes sense from a UX standpoint.
However, there’s another app which LinkedIn is looking to roll out that has certainly left a few scratching their heads. LinkedUp, a business dating app, has been described as the ‘Tinder of LinkedIn’ and it’s not far off; users anonymously ‘like’ or ‘pass’ their LinkedIn contacts, with those who both ‘like’ each other encouraged to chat.
Regardless, LinkedIn appears to be doing something to get more traffic – and hopefully more revenue. Take a look at this cool infographic from DPFOC below, which shows the highlights of LinkedIn’s 11 years so far:
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