LinkedIn aced its quarter, but it’s still too dependent on recruiting alone.
In the wake of Facebook and Zynga, there’s at least one social tech company that’s pleasing Wall Street. (Yelp is doing okay, too.) LinkedIn’s Q2 revenue grew 89 percent to $228 million, and Wall Street applauded. Some commented that LinkedIn is less dependent on advertising than many social media companies, but even its ad business looked healthy, showing over 60 percent growth to $63 million. Here’s how it is pitching ads these days. As usual, hiring solutions led the way, more than doubling to $122 million. Paid subscriptions were also up 80 percent to $44 million. I’d still like to see LinkedIn become less dependent on hiring and recruiting – a lot of its ad business ties in – perhaps by building out its network as a marketplace for selling business services. It’s a strong player in identity management – for professional identities, anyway – but that’s more of a customer lock-in than a direct revenue opportunity.
LinkedIn turned in a strong quarter and announced a smart acquisition. It seems to have proven staying power and growth potential, addressing some vulnerabilities (e.g., mobile, sales efficiencies) even if it hasn’t cashed in on its platform or identity management opportunities.
Back in January 2011, LinkedIn acquired a startup called CardMunch, a very handy iPhone app which scanned, transcribed and organized business card information. On Tuesday, the company is announcing a relaunch of the CardMunch iPhone app with a new look and feel.
I’m a fan of niche social networks, and I concede that Facebook apps can often benefit from having their own site. But I still think the newly launched neighborhood social network, Nextdoor, might have worked just as well as a Facebook app or group, or a Google+ Circle. It’s getting some attention today, due to its fairly broad launch (176 neighborhoods), intriguing digital/physical world viral recruiting scheme and leader Nirav Tolia, ex of Epinions and Shopping.com. Still, I like the chances of BranchOut, that’s launching a new premium service for recruiters atop its Facebook professional network app, better than those of Unthink, another anti-Facebook network. What do you think determines whether a social network should be standalone versus implemented as an app?
Last week, Viadeo, “the LinkedIn of France” and a GigaOM Euro 20 company, introduced an API via a developer contest. Comparing Viadeo’s and LinkedIn’s strategies and outlook will help marketers and potential partners prioritize their focus.
LinkedIn seems to have gone too far in the wrong direction in trying to copy Facebook and become a social network for business users: a recent change that opted LinkedIn’s 100-million-plus users into a social-advertising campaign feels a lot like some of Facebook’s past privacy-related blunders.
UPDATED. LinkedIn on Thursday announced the financial results from its three months operating as a public company. The company showed off impressive user growth, but that has not started to translate into significantly higher profits. LinkedIn says it’s spending its revenue to reinvest for future growth.
For years, the world of venture capital was largely shrouded in a veil of secrecy. But in the past 18 months, AngelList has started to change that in a big way. The social network for VCs and startups has grown impressively since its February 2010 debut.
A month after its debut as a public company, LinkedIn isn’t resting on its laurels, and Wall Street is reacting positively. Several new initiatives unveiled this month suggest the professional social network might have the steam to compete with the Googles and Facebooks of the world.