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LinkedIn opens up publishing platform to 230M users

All English-speaking users can now create original content on LinkedIn

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 8, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3b3e

One of the more interesting, and generally overlooked, things to happen in social media over the last few years has been LinkedIn's attempt to transform itself into a publishing platform. Gone will be the days when people only go to the site when someone tries to connect with them. Now they will go because they have something to say, and because others have something to say as well.

Now, what started out as a platform for only people with recognizable names, and which was then expanded to include everyone on LinkedIn in the United States, is about to hit many millions more people.

LinkedIn has expanded the ability to publish on the network to all members in English-speaking countries, it was announced in a blog post on Thursday. That will open up the platform to an additional 230 million people. Since the site has 330 million members, which means that the vast majority can now be publishers.

The company also revealed that its members are publishing more than 40,000 posts on average, every week.

"Posting on LinkedIn is a powerful way for members to underscore their expertise in their respective fields, extend their professional reputations beyond LinkedIn, and have valuable conversations with the largest group of engaged professionals ever assembled," it said.

The first move that LinkedIn made in the direction of being a publishing platform was the introduction of "influencers," or people who users could follow, getting their status updates and original posts, in 2012. LinkedIn started out with 150 "thought leaders," or important people, that could be followed, including Barack Obama, Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson, Mitt Romney, Reid Hoffman, T. Boone Pickens, Cory Booker, Ben Smith, and Deepak Chopra.

LinkedIn began the process of expanding the platform to include everyone on LinkedIn almost a year ago, starting with 25,000 members and then the rest of the United States. 

This move, along with its integration of news aggregation app Pulse into its mobile and desktop products. The ultimate goal, and its acquisition of Newsle, a web application that allows users to follow real news about their Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, and public figures, are in service of one goal: to make the site more social and to find a way to keep people on the site longer.

VatorNews reached out to LinkedIn to see if we could learn how much revenue these posts have been generating. While the company was not available for comment, I assume that the majority of the revenue on them comes from advertising, or what it calls "Marketing Solutions." 

Unlike other social networks, advertising is not LinkedIn's main source of revenue, but that doesn’t mean it isn't important. Marketing Solutions products totaled $109 million in the third quarter of 2014, an increase of 45% compared to the third quarter of 2013. Marketing Solutions revenue represented 19% of total revenue.

(Image source: blog.linkedin.com)


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