The Silent Rise of LinkedIn
The LinkedIn journey to 500M members
If you were to ask me to describe LinkedIn in 2015, I might have said something along the lines of, “a great professional network” or “the perfect place to find a job.” Now, as we close out 2017, it’s clear that LinkedIn is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the world of B2C and B2B marketing.
Microsoft must have seen something in the rising star as well – officially acquiring LinkedIn for $26.2 billion at the end of 2016 in one of the largest social media deals in history.
A quick look at LinkedIn’s journey to 500 million members:
- 2003 (0 members): Launch
- 2005 (1.6M members): Introduction of Jobs & Subscriptions
- 2006 (4.2M members): Launch of public profiles for members
- 2009 (33M members): Jeff Weiner joins LinkedIn as president
- 2011 (140M members): LinkedIn goes public
- 2013 (250M members): 10th anniversary of LinkedIn
- 2015 (330M members): $1.5B acquisition of Lynda.com. Launch of Pulse
- 2016 (400M members): Microsoft acquires LinkedIn for $26.2B
- 2017 (500M members): 100,000 new articles published weekly
What’s most astonishing is how fast LinkedIn has grown over the last six years. Between 2011 and 2017, LinkedIn’s user base grew from 140 million to 500 million – shattering the growth rate in previous periods.
One of the more intriguing aspects of LinkedIn is the demographics of their users.
- Twenty-nine percent of online adults use LinkedIn
- Fifty-six percent of users are male and 44 percent are female
- Fifty-one percent of users have a college degree
- Thirteen percent of millennials (15 to 34-year-olds) use LinkedIn
- Forty-four percent of users earn more than $75,000 a year
- Forty-one percent of millionaires use LinkedIn
- The average CEO has 930 connections
- Statistical Analysis and Data Mining are the top skills on LinkedIn
CEO Jeff Weiner plans to “develop the world’s first economic graph” with the hopes of “digitally mapping out the global economy.” A goal not far from reach seeing how LinkedIn has an in-depth dataset of company, industry, and individual contact information for more than 500 million members.
In the long-term, this will be a game-changer for marketers and brands in the B2B space.
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