LinkedIn is a social networking platform for cultivating existing business contacts and to establish new business connections. It has over 277 million registered users in more than 200 countries (as of June 2013) is currently the largest global platform of its kind and is, according to Alexa the world's 20 most visited websites.


LinkedIn was founded in 2003 by Reid Hoffman and founding members of PayPal and (Allen Blue, Eric Ly, Jean -Luc Vaillant, Lee Hower, Konstantin Guericke, Stephen Beitzel, David Eves, Ian McNish, Yan Pujante, and Chris Saccher ) in California, USA founded. In January 2014 LinkedIn in the U.S. was ranked 8 of the most visited websites in the world and ranked 12th February 4, 2009, the network is also available in German language. 2009, sales in the fourth quarter was 39.3 million U.S. dollars. In 2013 the revenue was already 447.2 million U.S. dollars in the fourth quarter.

3 May 2012 Slideshare was acquired by LinkedIn for an estimated $ 118.75 million.

On June 6, 2012 it was announced that a Russian hacker has released the passwords of 6.5 million LinkedIn members in the Internet after an attack on the servers by LinkedIn. The data theft was confirmed the following day by LinkedIn. According to Sophos, the passwords are simply encrypted so that decryption is easy.


On January 27, 2011, the U.S. company announced the transition to the market. More exact information on the date or the issue price of the new securities not made ​​LinkedIn Inc. first. On 19 May 2011 the paper was first traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Previously, the U.S. company had announced an offering price of $ 45 per share. A total of 7.84 million shares were issued. Based on the issue price, the market capitalization of LinkedIn calculated to $ 4.3 billion and rose in a few minutes up to 8.5 billion dollars. Thus, the price-earnings ratio to 550 and the price to sales ratio amounted to 35 By 2013, the share price rose to around $ 200.


Similar to other social networking sites LinkedIn provides the following functions:

  • A profile with resume can be created in multiple languages
  • Linking to a website
  • New contacts can be made
  • Opportunity to recommend other members
  • Create company profiles
  • Membership and establishment of thematic groups

In addition, you can apply and recommend products on the company profile. One criticism is that a LinkedIn account is very easy to set up, but can be difficult deleted because of the access to the relevant functions is hidden.

Account Types

In LinkedIn account different models exist. The basis is as Freemiumvariante the "base " account. This is connected to the user with no cost and includes:

  • Create a profile
  • Multilingual profiles
  • Basically, the search (by name, first name, company, location, geolocation, position)
  • Create a Company Profile
  • Join or create groups
  • Network statistics
  • Message (limited to contacts, group members, moderators )

The paid premium account provides advanced features:

  • Search job level, function in the company, company size
  • Profile Organizer = opportunity not to store contacts in folders and categorize
  • Limited number of incoming messages
  • Advanced Network Statistics

A Recruiteraccount also provides solutions for collaboration in the network, eg for projects. Here, a complete CRM approach is followed.

User interface

Often the little modern user interface of LinkedIn has been criticized. Compared to other social networks it was initially mostly used passively. In July 2012, the company introduced an action before a major overhaul of its surface. By his own admission LinkedIn to thereby be similar easy to use as Google or Facebook. Business users of the network are to be encouraged, strengthened also communicated personal information on LinkedIn.

In September 2012, LinkedIn has first introduced notifications. With this new feature, users can see what messages posted their contacts or what other information they have commented. The introduction of this function is seen as an approach to social networks like "Facebook" and " Google ", which already presented the possibility of information exchange from the beginning available.

Mobile Applications

LinkedIn allows for some time to access LinkedIn using mobile applications. In addition to a specially optimized for small screens website LinkedIn apps for the operating systems Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Apple iOS are available for free.