LinkedIn spruces up mobile app to widen appeal

Apr 18, 2013 by Michael Liedtke

Online professional networking service LinkedIn is dressing up its mobile application to impress people who are increasingly scrolling through content on smartphones.

The changes being unveiled Thursday mark LinkedIn Corp.'s first major overhaul of its mobile app in 20 months.

Since then, more than 80 million additional accounts have been opened on LinkedIn's website to push its total beyond 200 million users worldwide.

More of those people are checking LinkedIn on mobile devices as they look for career tips, job leads and interesting information about companies and industries. LinkedIn features plenty of that content, but it hasn't been easy to find on its mobile app. By making all that easier, LinkedIn is hoping people will come back more often, giving the company more opportunities to sell advertising.

The new design relies on formulas that are supposed to figure out which features and topics are the most appealing to each user and ensure that those services are just one tap away. Finding some content on LinkedIn's previous app required up to four taps to the frustration of many users who only had a couple minutes of free time, said Joff Redfern, the company's head of mobile products.

In case LinkedIn's formulas don't get their preferences quite right, users will be able to program the new app to highlight specific types of content.

LinkedIn's new app also will display photos and other graphics more prominently within a stream of updates. The stream will look similar to what people who frequent Facebook see on smartphones and .

The new app is being released for devices running .'s software, as well as for Apple Inc.'s and iPod Touch. LinkedIn isn't making any changes to its year-old app for the yet.

The revamped phone app was born out of LinkedIn's belief that is growing as more people realize they can advance their careers by using more effectively.

"Historically, people came to us only when they were trying to get a job," Redfern said. "But now more people are coming to us on a daily basis to be great at what they do."

About 27 percent of LinkedIn's users now check into the service on a smartphone or tablet computer at least once a week, up from 8 percent two years ago, according to the company. And about 15 percent of LinkedIn's new accounts are being opened on a mobile app.

Other popular Internet services are getting even more mobile traffic. For instance, Facebook says nearly two-thirds of its 1.06 billion users enter its hangout through a mobile device at least once a month.

Like Facebook Inc. already has been doing, LinkedIn for the first time will insert mobile ads within the stream of updates flowing through the redesigned app. The mobile ads are supposed to be tied to LinkedIn's interpretation of each user's interests.

Unlike Facebook and many other Internet services, LinkedIn doesn't rely on advertising as its main moneymaker. Advertising accounts for about one-fourth of LinkedIn's revenue, with the rest coming from fees that the company charges for access to user data that are particularly helpful for headhunters and companies prowling for talented employees.

LinkedIn's approach has been highly successful so far. Although the Mountain View, Calif., company is about one-fifth the size of Facebook in terms of annual revenue and total users, its stock has been the hotter commodity on Wall Street. LinkedIn's shares have nearly quadrupled since the company went public in May 2011, while Facebook's stock has sunk by 30 percent from its initial public offering price 11 months ago.

's stock closed Wednesday at $179.97, while Facebook's shares finished at $26.63.

Explore further: New Minecraft modding software revolutionizes the way we teach kids coding

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dutch politicians question LinkedIn advertising

Aug 13, 2011

(AP) -- Social networking site LinkedIn says it will alter an advertising technique, following criticism and questions in the Netherlands about whether it violated privacy laws.

LinkedIn's IPO priced at $45 a share

May 18, 2011

(AP) -- LinkedIn priced its IPO at $45 per share to set up the first stock market debut among a fraternity of Internet networking services that's captivating investors.

LinkedIn to buy news app Pulse

Mar 12, 2013

Career-focused social network LinkedIn is buying the news reading app-maker Pulse in a deal valued at between $50 million and $100 million, according to technology website All Things Digital.

Career-focused LinkedIn tops 200 mn members

Jan 09, 2013

LinkedIn on Wednesday announced that more than 200 million people have joined the career-focused online social network since its launch nearly a decade ago.

Recommended for you

BPG image format judged awesome versus JPEG

19 hours ago

If these three letters could talk, BPG, they would say something like "Farewell, JPEG." Better Portable Graphics (BPG) is a new image format based on HEVC and supported by browsers with a small Javascript ...

Atari's 'E.T.' game joins Smithsonian collection

Dec 15, 2014

One of the "E.T." Atari game cartridges unearthed this year from a heap of garbage buried deep in the New Mexico desert has been added to the video game history collection at the Smithsonian.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.