LinkedIn adding a member every second

Business networking website LinkedIn is adding a member a second as users seek to keep their professional lives separate from private antics they may share at Facebook.

LinkedIn chief executive Jeff Weiner said that LinkedIn had 85-million members and was growing faster than ever as the economy recovers and people get back to cultivating connections that could land them better jobs.

Half of LinkedIn members are outside the United States, with China and Brazil among the countries where the social network is seeing its fastest growth, Weiner said during a talk at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

When asked what distinguishes LinkedIn from online social networking king Facebook, Weiner replied “keg stands”.

The reference was intended to conjure pictures of college party goofiness such as guzzling beer from a keg while doing a handstand.

“While many of us in college were in parties having a good time doing things like keg stands, I don’t know that many of us would look forward to a potential employer having access to that,” Weiner said.

“For the most part, people want to keep their personal lives and their professional lives separate.”

Facebook boasts more than 500 million members and is an online community known for friends sharing intimate details of their lives.

“People tend to lump us in with Facebook and Twitter,” Weiner told the LA Times on Thursday. “But we’re three very different things. Facebook is massive in scale and scope. Twitter is a public communication forum, but if I’m following you, you’re not necessarily following me. LinkedIn is, simply, a professional network.”

Weiner says he doesn’t see a lot of competition for his 7-year-old company.

“Critical mass matters in this business,” he said. “To build [a competitor] from scratch today would be challenging. Other social ecosystems could be fertile ground for a new company that no one has heard of yet or that doesn’t exist. … Our focus on innovation makes that less likely.”

LinkedIn is built as an online community for networking with colleagues, peers, bosses, recruiters or others that could help advance careers.

The privately owned company based in the California city of Mountain View was founded in 2003.

Its revenue comes from advertising, subscriptions for premium services, and “hiring solutions” that connect recruiters with candidates.

“LinkedIn didn’t invent professional networking,” Weiner said. “What it did was manifest professional networking online.”

Weiner said there were no plans of an IPO, saying that he doesn’t believe his company needs to list “to get to the next level”. – AFP



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