LinkedIn has announced that its reached 1 million users in Spain. That’s 1 million out of 16 million users in Europe, a market that clearly important to the company, having opened offices in the UK in 2008 and a follow-up office in Holland for Continental Europe. The company claims that 15% of Spanish professionals are now using LinkedIn, with the majority coming from Madrid and Barcelona, followed by Valencia Bilbao and Seville. On a global scale, they’re gaining 1 million users nearly every 2 weeks.
In Europe we have two clear competitors, Xing and Viadeo, each leading in their respective home countries of Germany and France. And while I’m personally a LinkedIn junkie, this is a good time to take stock of all three.
LinkedIn is, like it or not, US-centric despite their European offices.
Xing, based out of Hamburg has a clear German-speaking fan-base but because they take on a more proactive, personal approach to “infiltrating” new markets, they’ve grown quite well in Spain. Xing also organizes local networking events and has a very strong online ambassador community so they’re able to spread virally. This March the company was at 1.2 million Spanish users, reaching 31% growth in the last 12 months.
So where Xing’s approach is community, LinkedIn’s is utility. It would seem though that rather than stealing users from each other in the Spanish market, both companies’ user growth indicates that more Spaniards are quickly taking to online business networking. Will there be a tipping point for one or the other on the old continent?
I say one or the other because Viadeo, the other professional social network heavy weight, although based out of France has an expansion plan that appears to focus more on non-European territories. They are gunning specifically for Asia and Latin America. In Spain, Viadeo is far from successful compared to it’s counterparts.