Today, LinkedIn announced that they reached 300 million global members, more than half of whom live outside of the US. This news comes just one week after the announcement of its integration with Samsung and two days after the release of its latest app, SlideShare. LinkedIn’s success in steadily increasing membership to reach this milestone can be correlated with its focus on reaching the “mobile moment”, where mobile will account for more than 50% of all global traffic. This forward-thinking acknowledgement of the inevitable shift to a mobile-dominated userbase has driven LinkedIn to create products with a motto of “Simplify. Grow Every day.” They expect to hit the mobile moment later this year.
According to Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s SVP of Products & User Experience, every day mobile accounts for 15 million profile views, 1.45 million job views and 44,000 applications in over 200 countries. Its members in dozens of locations around the world are using LinkedIn more on their mobile devices than desktop computers, including Costa Rica, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.
In March 2011, mobile users only accounted for about 8% of LinkedIn’s total traffic. However, an increase on redesigning and creating experiences for mobile users resulted in a drastic increase in mobile visits. By 2012, 38% of unique visits came from mobile and in December 2013, 41% of LinkedIn’s traffic came from mobile. Nishar explains:
In anticipation of the mobile moment, two years ago, we started developing multiple LinkedIn mobile apps to fit the different needs of our diverse members. Each of these apps is customized and tailored to a member-specific use case. As we expand our mobile app portfolio, such as our new SlideShare app, we’re also focused on bringing on top-notch partnerships with companies like Apple, Nokia, Samsung and others. You’ll see more strategic pairings throughout the course of this year.
LinkedIn currently has five apps: LinkedIn (for phones and iPad), Contacts, Pulse, Recruiter Mobile, and Slideshare. In 2011, the LinkedIn for iPhone app was released and since then, it has evolved significantly. A complete overhaul took place in 2013 including a richer stream, tailored content, and expansion on localization by adding languages to total 15 languages on mobile apps. Keeping in line with its focus on simplicity and consistent growth, LinkedIn now uses a “five-second rule” when designing apps. If users aren’t able to understand what an app does in the first five seconds after opening it, then it’s too complex.
LinkedIn plans to continue creating and optimizing apps this year and even more in 2015, and is also prioritizing phone number integrations and push-based interactions for its apps. Kiran Prasad, LinkedIn’s Senior Director of Engineering – Mobile, discussed plans to take advantage of LinkedIn’s powerful data with “platform-integrated instant insights” by using a kind of artificial intelligence popularized by Siri and Google Now.
The mission of LinkedIn is to connect the world’s professionals to enable them to be more productive and successful. 300 million is certainly a milestone for LinkedIn, but there are 3.3 billion people in the global workforce and LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every professional in the world. With a Members First philosophy, LinkedIn is working towards creating an economic graph. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, says the following:
“Our ultimate dream is to develop the world’s first economic graph. In other words, we want to digitally map the global economy, identifying the connections between people, jobs, skills, companies, and professional knowledge — and spot in real-time the trends pointing to economic opportunities. It’s a big vision, but we believe we’re in a unique position to make it happen.”