Over the past four years, LinkedIn has assembled a business network of over 187 million members and 13,700 corporate customers. And since the opening of its corporate-hiring products division in 2008, its software and services have driven 55 percent of the company’s revenue, equating to $363 million for the first three quarters of 2012 alone. LinkedIn current has over 13,700 clients paying $8,000 per seat for LinkedIn Recruiter and boasts customers like Microsoft, Starbucks, and SanDisk.
LinkedIn is now undergoing a roll out of a set of new features designed to motivate members to visit the site more often, generating more and more data for the company to sell to recruiters. Among other changes, LinkedIn has recently overhauled profile pages and added a “like” feature for members’ skill sets while experiencing a 44 percent growth in site views between July 1 and September 30 of this year. And corporate forecasts foresee member searches, for items like job openings and company profiles, exceeding five billion by the beginning of 2013.
LinkedIn’s expanding popularity has transformed the business into a template for business networks and recruiting software vendors hoping to ride the company’s coattails to success in LinkedIn’s wake. With the arrival of Facebook’s job app, services like Monster’s BeKnown, and Glassdoor are building networks on top of Facebook in attempts to tap the social media giant’s massive user pool. But so far, none of these appear to have made a substantial dent in LinkedIn’s user base or momentum.