LinkedIn may be on the verge of officially becoming a part of the Microsoft family, but that doesn't mean it has no interest in continuing to grow its own business. Like so many other companies, that means courting users in Asia.
On Monday, LinkedIn launched three new in India to help grow its userbase in the country.
That includes LinkedIn Lite, which is basically a version of the service without any bells or whistles, making it so that it can load faster on weaker Internet connections, specifically in rural area. LinkedIn Lite "loads four times faster, regardless of the mobile device and the network it is connected to," the company said at an event in Bengaluru, India, in which it launched these new programs.
All of LinkedIn's Indian members will have access to the Lite version within the next few weeks.
With the launch of LinkedIn Lite, the company is following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, both of which have unveiled similar services. Facebook Lite, a version of Facebook for Android that uses less data, was announced last summer and immediately rolled out in Asia.
Twitter launched its Lite version in 2009, through a partnership with Indian mobile operator Bharti Airtel.
LinkedIn also officially launched Placements, a way to help Indian students get jobs. It features a standardized online assessment test that will help them get employment at 35 companies, both in and outside of India. The test was built through a partnership with HackerRank, Aspiring Minds, Wheebox and CoCubes.
The program was launched in a pilot in November of last year.
Finally, the company launched Starter Pack, an initiative with the goal of connecting startups and small and medium-sized businesses in the country to prospective employees, by allowing them to run profiles on the site.
“While LinkedIn has grown multiple folds in India since we started operating here 6 years ago, there’s so much more we want to do here. We are committed to India and to boosting our ability to deliver value to even more members and be a part of their professional growth journey, by investing and innovating locally,” said Akshay Kothari, head of LinkedIn India.
“These new initiatives help us keep pace with the rising demand for knowledge and access to opportunity.”
In August, LinkedIn revealed that it had 100 million users in the Asia Pacific region, doubling the numbers in two years. That represents 22 percent of its 450 million members. India, with 37 million members, is currently LinkedIn's second largest global market. China has 23 million.
LinkedIn also recently opened a new office in Bangalore, its largest in Asia.
The company was bought by Microsoft for $26.2 billion in June, a deal that is still seeking regulatory approval.
VatorNews reached out to LinkedIn for more details about these programs. We will update this story if we learn more.
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