For those in the know, it was little surprise that LinkedIn chose to go public last month with its much publicised IPO. LinkedIn has been around now for nearly 10 years and unlike twitter, has been profitable for much of that. Early revenue streams came from the obvious recruitment services that arise when you’re sitting on a database of professional contacts and millions of profiles which effectively constitute their CVs.

It's recent timing that’s interesting however – any LinkedIn users will likely agree with me that the number of requests for connections has increased considerably in the last 6 months, particularly since November. There are three main reasons:

  • LinkedIn iPhone app now allows people to add each other when they’re out networking
  • Many businesses familiarised themselves with social networking on Facebook and yearned for a better, more business credible platform. Then found it.
  • Mainly though, the economy broke, people got worried about their job and all of a sudden, realised that their network was their most valuable asset.

Does LinkedIn suddenly start to look like its time has come?

Now ask the question why the IPO. Why now?

There are two answers which leap out to me. It could be as mundane as looking for a high spot to go public to maximise return from the share issue, OR it could be that they need capital because they have big plans.
I’m inclined to think it’s a little of both.

You can follow LinkedIn progress here.

By Phil Blything – Director of Liverpool Digital Marketing Agency, Glow New Media.

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