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LinkedIn - Predictions for 2012

LinkedIn-Logo-Transparent-200px - LinkedIn Predictions for 2012As of the end of September, professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at an incredible rate – more than two new members per second.

The signs were good for them from the off – from humble beginnings with 4,500 members in their first month, LinkedIn now boasts 135 million profiles, 1,797 full-time employees located in bases all around the globe, and members in over 200 countries and territories. 2012 looks set to become an even better growth year after the whirlwind of 2011. LinkedIn’s traffic rank was at 32 at the beginning of the year, and now stands at 13.

According to Alexa, the time spent in a typical visit to the site, which is online for more than nine years, is approximately eight minutes, with 39 seconds spent on each page.

So what do people spend 39 seconds doing? Mashable conducted a recent study using EyeTrackShop, a startup that runs eye-tracking studies for advertisers, to record the eye movements of 30 candidates as they were shown profile pages from popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter.

The findings with regard to LinkedIn were interesting, with the job title area of any give profile garnering more attention than anything else on the page.

According to LinkedIn in their latest quarterly results, 25% of the total traffic to the site is made by 1% of the LinkedIn population (that’s us recruiters). When people view profiles they scan the top section of the profile and scroll down for just 39 seconds. Perhaps this calls for more interesting content at the top of your profile to harness viewers’ attention – a Slideshare or Google Presentation etc.

LinkedIn represents a valuable demographic for marketers and recruiters with an affluent and influential membership so it is no surprise to learn that total revenue advanced 126% year on year to $139 million. “The company posted its eighth straight quarter of accelerated revenue growth and achieved record engagement on the LinkedIn platform,” Steve Sordello, CFO of LinkedIn, said at the beginning of November. “We delivered strong adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization record levels of operating and free cash flow. LinkedIn plans to maintain a long-term perspective with investment in our key strategic areas.”

One of these key strategic areas for LinkedIn is its mobile growth, according to Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, who opened new offices in Japan and Germany in the last quarter. “Mobile page views have climbed 400% over year and account for more than 12% of total unique visits in the quarter,” Weiner said. “We’re starting to roll up our sleeves and think through how we’re going to monetize mobile It’s something we’re hoping to begin next year.”

Based on third quarter metrics, LinkedIn members are on pace to do more than four billion searches on the LinkedIn platform before the end of the year.

So taking this on board, here’s what we think we expect from LinkedIn in 2012 (including a few personal desires):

  • Membership to climb to just under 200 million (if we keep it at the average climbing rate of 2 members per second implies an increase of 63,072,000),
  • Key growth in countries outside of the US (current share of LinkedIn membership stands at 43%) like India (currently at 13 million), Brazil (6.7 million), South Africa (1.5 million) and Central Eastern Europe (1.5 million) to increase threefold,
  • LinkedIn Recruiter product to be rolled out to agencies, and incorporate Talent Pipeline to the product as a semi-CRM tool,
  • The LinkedIn App to have a Pro (paid) version, and possibly to include an Advanced Search function, InMail and license for LinkedIn Recruiter,
  • Paid Recruitment versions of LinkedIn to include Language search (not profile language as it is presently),
  • Newspapers and journals to embed their papers in to LinkedIn, similar to Facebook, and viral notifications of articles read on these embedded papers to feature in newsfeeds.

What has been your favourite thing about LinkedIn this year? What are your predictions for 2012? Let us know in the comments.

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