LinkedIn Rides On Mobile For Growth

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 05, 2014


Mobile is clearly the way forward for social networking sites. After Facebook’s record success with mobile and Twitter too following suit, professional networking site, LinkedIn is riding on mobile for growth. The Q1 2014 results show that 43% of LinkedIn’s traffic was mobile and it mainly comes from the emerging countries in Asia Pacific that posted $38.5 million revenues this quarter. India is reportedly the largest market for LinkedIn outside the US, where the company claims to have more than 24 million registered users as of February 2014.

A wary start!

Despite seeing a mobile momentum, this year started on a little distressing note for LinkedIn that saw its largest quarterly loss since going public. The company reported 296.5 million registered members, a 7% increase from 276.8 million members in the previous quarter and a 36% increase from 218.3 million members in the same quarter last year. Few weeks back, the company had claimed to have crossed 300 million registered members.

While the Q1 results have surprisingly surpassed the analyst projections, investors are concerned about the company’s rising expenses and slowing revenue growth. It has been predicted that those trends will extend into the current quarter ending in June as well.

Despite pockets of concerns, the company has a plethora of plans as it is investing more money into mobile applications, hiring employees and developing services designed to attract more users and more frequent visits to the company’s website to help sell more advertising. Most of LinkedIn’s revenue still comes from fees that employers and recruiters pay to gain greater access to the profiles posted on the networking service.

The mobile push

CEO Jeff Weiner said on a conference call with analysts and investors that this will be the year half its traffic comes from members accessing the professional social network by smartphones and tablets. “In anticipation of our expectation that mobile will exceed half of total traffic later this year, mobilizing our technology infrastructure, engineering team and products remains one of LinkedIn’s most important priorities,” he said.

LinkedIn, while not profitable last quarter, generated $473 million, an increase of 46% year over year. It also ramped up its investments in projects aimed at attracting more users on the lookout for better jobs and career advice.

LinkedIn expert Wayne Breitbarth said in an interview with Forbes that the power of LinkedIn as a business tool and as a jobs and recruiting resource is continuing to grow, in addition to its strength as a social media platform.

Apps apps and more apps

As members continue to spend more time on mobile, company CEO remains gung ho on growing the app suite, reports CNet. LinkedIn’s mobile focus will continue to include a collection of singular applications and some new ones, Weiner said in an interview. The mobile push appears to emulate the much discussed multi-app approach of consumer social giant Facebook, which now operates Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, Paper, and Moves.

“We also have some additional applications that have yet to launch, all part of our effort to mobilize,” Weiner said on a conference call with analysts and investors. “We think that’s going to be increasingly important given that majority of our traffic comes from mobile channels today,” he said.