LinkedIn Celebrates Three Million UK Members
Business social networking site LinkedIn’s founder, Reid Hoffman, visited the UK last week to celebrate the site’s membership surpassing the three million mark in this country. New Media Knowledge’s Chris Lee went along to the party.
Guests at London’s Imagination Gallery last week were welcomed by Reid Hoffman, founder and CEO of online business networking site, LinkedIn, to celebrate recruiting the site’s three millionth UK user. The site has grown massively since its launch in May 2003 to a global population of 53 million and is currently adding a new member every second.
NMK’s Chris Lee hooked up with Kevin Eyres, LinkedIn’s European managing director, to gauge the secret of its success and where it goes from here and according to Eyres, LinkedIn owes its success to its fast-expanding membership base.
“If you look at the membership it’s business professionals who are actively trying to network and engage with like-minded professionals in order to expand their knowledge, solve problems and find out how to capture other opportunities,” Eyres told NMK.
The company has come a long way since its roots as a basic online business contacts book and now, according to Eyres, LinkedIn is based on the concept that it “works where you work”.
“We have [Microsoft] Outlook integration now, there’s a BlackBerry application that we’ve announced, you can have it on your iPhone, so LinkedIn integrates to the normal tools that you would use in your everyday business,” he said.
As part of its continued development, LinkedIn recently added Twitter link mechanisms to its site functionality, meaning that members could opt in to tweet their updated status on the microblogging service.
“If you have a problem and you want to get maximum exposure to not just your professional community but also the wider community which Twitter provides, then you can increase the speed at which your questions are answered and move ahead with any decisions you have to make,” Eyres said.
Social network Facebook has enabled users to syncronise their tweets with their Facebook status updates for a while, but Eyres believes it is a different case altogether.
“We don’t get a lot of inspiration from social networks because we’re a professional network,” he explained. “We believe that the context is very different. Whereas on social it’s very much about entertainment, on LinkedIn it’s more about knowledge; how can I ensure that I have trusted contacts and keep up to date with them and how can I get ahead with my business.”
The company has also opened up its application programming interface (API), enabling developers to integrate LinkedIn into their websites and business applications, according to LinkedIn’s own blog post this week.
“With our API we’ve really opened up the development community so that innovation can happen not just on LinkedIn but also off of LinkedIn with other companies integrating together,” Eyres concluded. “You’re going to see a lot more integration around that.”
To hear the full interview with Kevin, visit Chris Lee’s blog.