Linkedin reaches a half billion users

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LinkedIn announced that it now has over 500 million registered users in 200 countries, an increase from the 467 million reported in the company’s last earnings release as standalone company in October.

Microsoft’s $26 billion acquisition of the professional social network was completed in December, and similar announcements highlighting tighter integration between Microsoft and LinkedIn could be imminent. The member milestone is important, but somewhat lackluster as it implies relatively flat member growth since Q3 2016.   

  • Growth is steady since last public earnings release. Assuming total members grew at the same 18% year-over-year growth seen in Q3 2016, LinkedIn would reach over 500 million users by the end of Q1 2017. This means that there has been no meaningful change in the pace of member growth over the past few months.
  • That means that Microsoft has not yet aggressively pushed the gas pedal on LinkedIn member acquisition yet. This makes sense as the social network underwent extensive redesigns during this period, and is likely getting the user experience and engagement right before spending more marketing dollars to drive member growth.
  • A fraction of members use LinkedIn on a monthly basis. As of Q3 2016, only 23%, 0r 106 million, of LinkedIn’s total members used the platform on a monthly basis. While the company did not update monthly active users in the blog post, monthly users have fluctuated between 23-25% for the past year, and a major upswing in that ratio is unlikely.
  • And LinkedIn is trying new push notifications to increase monthly engagement. These are somewhat similar to Facebook’s “On This Day” Feature, which allows users to see photos and posts made on a certain day a few years back. The rollout will include personalized insights in the My Network section, and include statistics like most connected users in your network, and users with most mutual connections, according to TechCrunch.

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