LinkedIn is winning the Platform Game

(This paragraph is opinion, reject if you will) I’ve always believed LinkedIn will be the most profitable platform play out there (not the biggest, but most profitable). There are three things that bring people together – Health, Wealth and Children. LinkedIn caters to the second part (via career).

(Now, this part is all data, not opinion) Yesterday, LinkedIn came up with a blockbuster quarter. Here’re some nuggets from Jeff Weiner (CEO) from yesterday’s Earnings call

  • Growth rate – “For Q4, overall revenues grew 105% to a record $168 million, marking sixth straight quarter in which our revenues at least doubled over the prior year.”
  • Data ‘bragging’ – “we continue to add more than two members every second”
  • 20% of Facebook – ‘end of January we surpassed the 150 million member milestone’ (Now, according to Metcalfe’s law – value of a network 5x bigger is 25 times. So, everything else remaining same, intrinsic value of Facebook network is significantly higher as it has 845M ‘nodes’)
  • And they keep coming back – ‘unique member visit for LinkedIn in Q4 grew 67% year-over-year, even faster than the rate of membership growth ‘
  • Platform Play #1 = Global – ‘Today 60% of LinkedIn members reside outside the United States. We launched eight local languages last year’
  • Platform Play #2 = Social – In-bound, Targeted Content – ‘we introduced our professionally focused social news product LinkedIn Today, which quickly became an integral way for our members to get the insights they need to be successful. Since the end of Q3, we’ve seen nearly 60% increase in the number of members customizing their LinkedIn Today experience.’
  • Platform Play #3 = Social – Out-bound – ‘significant traffic driver to publishers all over the web. Q4 saw an increase in referral traffic of more than 45% over the previous quarter ‘
  • Platform Play #4 = ‘Share’ (catching up with ‘Like’) – ‘with more than 300,000 unique domains using the LinkedIn share button nearly double the number since our last call’
  • Platform Play #5 = Developers – ‘April, we opened up full access to LinkedIn’s platform as of now there are more than 50,000 developers using LinkedIn APIs to help build and empower the professional web.’
  • Platform Play #6 = Mobile – ‘we completely revamped our mobile experience, introducing new apps for iOS and Android, as well as a new mobile website. Mobile visits now account for more than 15% of total unique number visits’
  • Platform Play # 7= Integration – ‘..introduced some new products that integrate LinkedIn data into the fabric of the enterprise ..Sales Navigator a premium subscription that integrates with CRM platforms like sales force..
  • Platform Play #8 = Enterprise base growing more than individual – ‘We ended the year with more than 9,200 corporate customers, up 139%‘
  • Platform Play #9 = Ad Platform – ‘Cisco turned to LinkedIn to personally reach 140,000 C Level executives with an innovative first of its kind video message with their larger Cisco story campaign. Cathay Pacific is using LinkedIn to engage with the valuable frequent business traveler’


About Nilendu Misra
I love to learn, create and coach. Things that I do well are - Communicating ideas - verbally or through words and diagrams; Problem Solving - Logical or Abstract; Very Large Scale Systems; think about 'Frighteningly Simple' approach first. Things that I intend to do better are - Establishing Stringent Process; Exchanging Tough Feedback; Keeping up with my reading or To-Do list to be able to completely relax.

2 Responses to LinkedIn is winning the Platform Game

  1. More profitable than say, Facebook?

    FWIW, I do agree, LinkedIn is very valuable and will be more so in the future. When CV’s go paperless, and that’s still not the case for the vast majority, they are well placed to win business.

  2. Vivien Novak says:

    That actually makes sense to me that LinkedIn is the most profitable. After all, practically all members of LinkedIn are high-earning professionals and advertisers are surely willing to pay a premium for that.

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