LinkedIn Grows, and Grows, and Just Keeps On Growing

LinkedIn_logoLinkedIn this afternoon reported another amazing quarter, handily beating Wall Street’s expectations on every metric and surpassing Monster in recruitment revenue.

So consistent has LinkedIn’s money-making ability been since it went public two years ago, that the tech site All Things D described it today as “the Internet company that can seemingly do no financial wrong.”

The company reported earning 38 cents per share on 2nd quarter revenue of $363.7 million. Of that, recruitment accounted for 56%, or $205.1 million. A year ago, the company had recruitment revenue for the same quarter of $121.6 million.

The consensus of analyst estimates was for 31 cents per share on $353.85 million.

During a conference call to discuss the company’s numbers, CEO Jeff Weiner credited multiple factors for driving LinkedIn’s success. Among them was an increase of  some 2,100 new recruitment customers, bringing the total of contract recruitment customers to over 20,000.

Job board Rev Q2 2013Detailing other milestones during the quarter, Weiner specifically cited the expansion of LinkedIn’s so-called Influencer Program in which people like Bill Gates and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offer their take on a wide variety of issues.

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LinkedIn’s membership climbed to 238 million during the quarter, Weiner said, as pageviews grew from 11.1 billion to 11.7 billion. More than 45 million profiles are viewed each day, prompting an increase in profile updates and in the popular skills endorsement program. That latter program is being studied to see if some sort of scoring system might be introduced to recognize that some endorsements are more meaningful than others, Weiner said.

The membership growth prompted one analyst to ask about LinkedIn’s enrollment ambitions. Weiner said the company is focusing on signing up the world’s 600 million knowledge workers; 65% of members already come from outside the U.S. After that, the “much longer term vision” is the rest of the world’s billions of workers.

Much of the question and answer period was given over to the company’s impending full scale implementation of its sponsored content advertising program. Sponsored content, also sometimes called native content, is information with some intrinsic value that advertisers create and pay for in order to interest and engage readers who otherwise ignore traditional online ads.

LinkedIn calls its product Sponsored Updates. Tested over the last quarter, CFO Steve Sordello said the “early signs are encouraging.” The total dollars won’t be  significant in comparison to other programs, but he and Weiner both said it offers LinkedIn’s customers another method to promote their brand.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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