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July 20, 2005

LinkedIn Gets More Revenue Streams

By Charlene Li

I’ve been in touch with Konstantin Guericke, co-founder of LinkedIn, over the past few days about the dual announcements they made today to 1) enable network-wide searching, and 2) charge for some LinkedIn Groups features.

My first reaction to the first announcement was that this was about time. LinkedIn’s value is that no other job site – Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs – has the quality network that LinkedIn does. And the reality is recruiters were trolling the LinkedIn network for leads, thereby reducing the quality of the experience for those of us trying to build a quality network. (SiliconBeat's Matt Marshall has more details on how it will work.)

So why shouldn’t LinkedIn monetize that network? A key aspect of the service is that all profiles available to recruiters will be anonymous, which is essential in maintaining trust in the service. Also, I’m assuming that there will be the opportunity to opt-out of being included in the recruitment service.

The second announcement also made a lot of sense – it’s somewhat confusing because it sounds like groups will have to pay up to $5,000 a year to host a private group on LinkedIn. The basic service remains free – but if a group wants their logo to appear on member’s profiles, they have to pay a fee based on the number of members. Very smart -- LinkedIn just created a brand advertising revenue stream!

So kudos to Konstantin and his team! 


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Richard Upton

Here are some links which may be of interest in relation to this post.

For more information about LinkedIn's coming network-wide search feature called InMail, see Dave Taylor's blog post Reinventing LinkedIn with InMail at http://www.intuitive.com/blog/reinventing_linkedin_with_inmail.html

For those who would like to be found by anyone, not just those who pay for the new network-wide search service, see my blog posting Be Found By Anyone in LinkedIn at http://linkedin-notes.blogspot.com/2005/07/be-found-by-anyone-in-linkedin.html

Konstantin Guericke

Yes, there will be the option to not get emailed when a recruiter wants to contact you about a position they are trying to fill, but to simply check it out the next time you log on to LinkedIn (and in fact, for recruiters who were not very targeted and have poor feedback ratings, we may do this automatically).

We also believe the rating system will encourage recruiters to be very targeted rather than casting a wide net. Of course, as a member, you can increase or decrease the odds that recruiters will contact you by unchecking or checking the box under your contact settings for whether or not you are open to hearing about job offers. If you don't have this checked, recruiters will think twice before contacting you since you are likely to "ding" them and affect their rating and thus their ability to reach other candidates in a timely fashion.

Actually, by default, we will batch all InMails into two weekly summary emails along with invitations to reconnect from old colleagues, etc.. Members will have the options to choose to get notified immediately (e.g. if you are a job seeker) or to only look at InMails when they are on the LinkedIn site anyway.

Also, there will be the option to not receive any kind of InMail (not even on the site) and to not be shown in LinkedIn Network searches.

The main issue we are addressing is that people felt that the introduction mechanism was stretched too thin to be adding much value when trying to reach people in the fourth degree; and some members (recruiters and reporters, especially) would use the fact that they could get names from members in their fourth degree to call the company and get put through to the extension of the person whom they wanted to invite to apply for an open position.

Our members will be effectively protected from this when we roll out the next-generation LinkedIn since names will not be shown in LinkedIn Network results (including those formerly shown as fourth degree in your personal network). For people outside of your network contacting you via InMail, your name will only be revealed if you choose to get in touch with the recruiter about the open position (presumably because you are interested in it or feel you can leverage the offer to make the point to your employer about getting that salary increase or promotion).


Sepaking as a satisfied Linked-In user, this makes total sense. The personal profiles is a huge content database that LinkedIn has created. Searching on it and paying for it is not only fair but a common practice in recruiting world. This is actually very interesting as it paves the way for some interesting paid search models where CPC advertising just does not work.

Mark Brooks

LinkedIn has grown into a landmark networking site with the highest integrity and utility. By introducing select fees they are maintaining the intgrity/quality levels for serious users.

Mark Brooks

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