Veteran professional social network LinkedIn grew up on the desktop and is in the midst of retooling its 277 million-user strong business for a mobile-focused digital world. Today it said it’s now just nine percentage points off having its ‘mobile moment’ — aka the point when the proportion of users visiting the service via mobile devices tips into a majority.
Speaking in a session about loyalty and retention here at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona, Joff Redfern, LinkedIn’s VP of mobile product, described the process LInkedIn is going through as a metamorphosis.
Nearly ten years ago now, a certain introverted college sophomore launched from his dorm room thefacebook.com—a campus-exclusive website that allowed people with a Harvard email address to upload onto it their photos and personal information. Four days after thefacebook.com went live, its creator Mark Zuckerberg proudly told his college newspaper that 650 students had signed up.
Today, ‘the Facebook’ has well over a billion active users spanning the globe. It generates an average of 4.5 billion likes and nearly 5 billion things shared on it, per day and is estimated to be worth over $100 billion. Meanwhile, other social network bigwigs like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ all boast userbases in the hundreds of millions, and have pretty much become household names. Seventy-two percent of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from just 8 percent in 2005.
It’s official. In under a decade, social media has gone from scoffed at to mainstream.
LinkedIn’s new Intro service has put up a big sign advertising to cyber criminals, nation states and others ‘hack here, we’ve got loads of juicy data’. The architecture of its new service is innovative but compromises your security and privacy in ways you really should care about. Oh, and whilst I am at it, I’ll have a dig at Apple AAPL +0.41% for putting LinkedIn in this position in the first place. So how does it work?
The new service proudly announced on the LinkedIn blog integrates with the Apple iOS native mail application to provide integrated details about the contact you are conversing with. Neat idea. What is interesting however is that LinkedIn has succeeded in integrating into the native Apple Mail application, an impressive feat of engineering given how intensely Apple restricts its applications and operating system ecosystem (more on the pros and cons of that later).