LinkedIn hits 500M member milestone for its social network for the working world

Now that LinkedIn is a part of Microsoft (after closing its $26.2 billion acquisition in December), the social networking site for the working world no longer reports earnings, and the metrics that come with them, as an individual business. So to underscore its growth, today LinkedIn used a blog post to announce that it has now passed 500 million registered users in 200 countries on its platform, a new milestone for the company — up from 467 million members as of its last quarterly report in October of last year.

In terms of monthly active users, analytics firm Apptopia says that this works out to 250 MAUs on mobile; it doesn’t break out desktop figures. (We’re looking to see if we can get this figure.)

And in its ongoing effort to increase engagement and time spent on the site, as well as to expand the links between users, LinkedIn is rolling out one more small update. From later this week, you will start to see some new information about people in your network in the “My Network” tab — where you also go to add new connections and accept invites from others.

To get people to visit that tab a little more often, LinkedIn is now going to feed you stats about people you know on the site. A spokesperson said that this will include lists of who is the most connected in your network, who has the most mutual connections and interactions with you, who was your first connection, and so on.

This is not quite what LinkedIn used to offer with InMaps (which it quietly retired in 2014). For starters, I’ve been told that it’s a temporary feature to commemorate the 500 million member mark. But it’s a small move in that direction, and I can imagine LinkedIn expanding this over time if they see it gets some traction. From what I can see, MyNetwork is one of the areas where LinkedIn runs ads, so getting more traffic to it would benefit it in other ways as well.

Revealing more details about your profile, and in more places, is in line with how LinkedIn has been revamping the site overall. Earlier this month, the company started sending out updated terms of service (coming into effect in June) that will see LinkedIn sharing your profile information with more third parties and in more places, although you can opt out of these; and earlier today, the company launched a new targeting feature called Matched Audiences, which merges an advertiser’s first-party data with LinkedIn’s network data to target specific key accounts, prospects and others.

Other updates of the past several months have included a completely new (and, sorry LinkedIn, much slower) desktop site; a new, curated newsfeed with trending business news stories; and expansions of some of its paid services such as its Sales Navigator for sales teams.

For some context, today’s 500 million mark and jumping 33 million users in six months is in line — not faster, not slower — compared to LinkedIn’s previous growth. In April 2016, the company reported 433 million members, equating to 34 million users added in a similar six-month period.

Today, the company also broke out some further stats about who is using the site, and also about what is on it.

You can think of the many features on LinkedIn as its own work-oriented answer to Facebook’s attempt to cover all social bases for its users: there are groups, a way to discover news, message people privately, a jobs marketplace (versus Facebook’s sales marketplace), and videos and learning. LinkedIn selectively now tells us that it has over 10 million jobs listed, more than 9 million company profiles, and over 100,000 business articles published each week.

I was also quite surprised to see some of the geographical data pointing to where the site is used today. UAE apparently is the most connected country, and London is the most connected city — both outside of LinkedIn’s home market of the US, which doesn’t make the top five countries. (San Francisco, however, ranks as the third-largest city when it comes to “most connected”.)

Unsurprisingly, HR and staffing/recruiting are respectively the most connected job function and industry on LinkedIn. At the end of the day, recruitment is still the mainstay of the platform.