LinkedIn touches 150 million members

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

This was announced by LinkedIn through a press release issued on Thursday. The mentioned figure of 150 million is an increase of 20 million over November, 2011.

Financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending December 31, 2011 was also announced.  For those of you interested in numbers here are the highlights:

1)       Revenue for the fourth quarter was $167.7 million, an increase of 105% compared to $81.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2010

2)       Net income for the fourth quarter was $6.9 million, compared to net income of $5.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2010; Non-GAAP net income for the fourth quarter was $13.3 million, compared to $5.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. Non-GAAP measures exclude tax-affected stock-based compensation expense and tax-affected amortization of acquired intangible assets

3)       Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter was $34.4 million, or 21% of revenue, compared to $16.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, or 20% of revenue

4)       GAAP EPS for the fourth quarter was $0.06; Non-GAAP EPS for the fourth quarter was $0.12

5)       For the full year 2011, revenue increased 115% to $522.2 million from $243.1 million. GAAP EPS increased to $0.11 from $0.07 and Non-GAAP EPS increased to $0.35 from $0.24. Adjusted EBITDA increased to $98.7 million from $48.0 million

The official press release can be accessed here.

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2011 as year of Social Media revolution

2011 was truly the year when Social Media and technology took big leaps making its presence felt in the mainstream discourse of the country. Impressed by the revolution brought about by Arab spring, Indians immersed themselves watching desi viral videos, tweeting about their love for fighting corruption and also being threatened of censorship.

The year of Social Media revolution

Anna’s fight against corruption proved how to use Social Media socially in true terms. From uploading Anna’s speeches to YouTube right from Tihar jail, to letting supporters know the nuances of Lokpal through collaborative Google docs and presentations. Facebook and Twitter was used to their best advantage garnering more than half a million followers on Facebook, and thousands of tweets every hour.
Internationally, the Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi in Dec 2010 e posted his last message on his Facebook wall before setting himself on fire after repeated police harassment. What started in Tunisia was tweeted and blogged throughout the Middle East leading to Arab spring. Countries like Egypt, Libya and Syria erupted despite government imposed internet blackouts. Armed with their cell phones and access to proxy servers the Arabs let the world know about their revolution through YouTube, twitter and Google Maps among others. Common people like Google employee Wael Ghonim played their part in mobilising people, reporting the massacres and atrocities by using technology to stay one step ahead of the government.

India Wakes to Flash Mob viral video after 26/11 anniversary

A group of 200 dancers dressed in casuals danced to the tunes of ‘Rang de basanti’ at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus generating more than a million hits on YouTube within first 4 days. Organised by Mumbaikar Shonan Kothari this flash mob synced into the national psyche riding on a patriotic wave.
Inspired by the CST Flash mob, cities like New Delhi and Chennai organised their own riding the viral wave. Talking about viral Videos, Kolaveri Di a love song sung by Dhanush went viral within 24 hours of its launched. Loved and tweeted by celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan led to the viral onlslaught on YoutTube. In little over a month, the video now has 30 million hits and has been even featured on YouTube’s blog. Several remakes of the original version has only led to its popularity establishing the importance of video as a critical content marketing tool.

Social networking top pass time among Indians

Nothing suggested otherwise but the final reaffirmation came in the month of December through a a report titled ‘It’s a social world’ by ComScore which proved beyond doubt that online Indians are truly social as much as their international counterparts. From a total online population of 45.9 million users, 43.4 million spend time on social networks like Facebook, Orkut, BharatStudent, LinkedIn and Twitter. 94.8% of online Indians use social networking, that is an average time spent of 3.4 hours. Facebook became the dominant network in India last year and continued to stay ahead of the competition.

India gets tough on Social Media

Kapil Sibal, the Indian took the Social Media companies by the horns asking them to remove offensive material from sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google. As netizens cried censorship there was confusion all around regarding what measures he intended to take to clean the web for Indians. Pharses like #idiotKapilSibal were most tweeted the day this announcement was made. Sites like Facebook and YouTube have extensive set of guidelines to remove defamatory content from their streams. However, Kapil’s pre-screening of content was considered just undoable and simply an impossible task which would required millions of pages to be screened.

India delivers Akash, the world’s cheapest tablet

What was supposed to be worth $35, the Indian tablet was launched for $60. The wifi enabled tablet based on Android operating system is set to revolutionise the education sector. Akash was widely reviewed internationally for features that prove its worth for the money with rugged features suited for Indian conditions. However, it was also criticised for its poor battery life with limited options for apps,, software, and not so impressive construction.

Lets sign off 2011 with this interesting video from Google

Last week: SOPA, Facebook, Google+ and its a Social world

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Covering major highlights of last week: SOPA, Facebook, Google+ and its a Social world

SOPA: The beginning of the end?

Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill with US congress had the online community entrenched with guns blazing against the government and those companies supporting it. The part of the  community consider the bill as an misguided attempt to stop web piracy. Among other things the bill proposes to introduce website blocking at the DNS level, and against any associated sites that is “facilitating” infringement, or “enabling” it on the web holding copyright infringement to websites that host user generated content. This would amount to blatant censorship and wipe millions of pages of content from several startups and companies like YouTube and Facebook. More than 40 of top Silicon Valley companies are now publicly against SOPA including Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, Google, AOL and Mozilla among others.

The online community is protesting against those supporting SOPA. This week GoDaddy, which initially supported the bill came under fire from users on social media, some companies even threatening to withdraw 1000’s of their domains registered with it. GoDaddy finally got the message and on Friday withdrew its support to SOPA.

On Wednesday Scribd, the social reading and publishing website made every document on the site disappear word by word to reflect the implication the bill has against free speech. Paul Graham, the founder of Ycombinator, the most successful business incubator threatened to block companies supporting the bill from its demo day denying them access to millions of dollars in seed funding.

Advertisers get access to Facebook Timeline

Keeping advertisers at bay from the personal space of users has been the hallmark of social networks that have thrived in the last decade. Facebook this week announced the introduction of ‘Sponsored stories’ allowing advertisers to cannibalise your News Feed, though it would be limited to one story a day and marked as ‘sponsored’. The phenomenon of social advertisements which will utilise the content from users social graph as advertisements promise a higher conversion rate.   Facebook even created a special webpage to explain users what this new feature is and that the company spends more than $1billion each year to support its business and needs ads to pay the bills.

It’s a Facebook’s Social World

A report by the same name by Comscore for 2011 proves that it actually is a social world with 82% of world population engaging in social networking sites representing 1.2 billion users.  Facebook is way ahead of other networks and despite the launch of Google+ and LinkedIn gaining momentum none of these platforms seem likely to cause any disruption in this segment.  “In October, Facebook reached more than half of the world’s global audience (55 percent) and accounted for approximately three in every four minutes spent on social networking sites and one in every seven minutes spent online around the world.”  In Indian context 95% online audience use social networking and older age groups are catching up fast. Though, the total online users in India remain unimpressive at 45.9mn.

Google+ losing steam

Within first 2 weeks of its launch in July Google+ the much awaited and hyped social network from Google was quick to gain 10million users. According to Google’s annual Zeitgest list, ‘Google+’ was the number 2 fastest growing search term of the year.  However, the spike hasn’t lasted since the launch and the network has slowed down considerably with the exception of times when new features for the network were announced. When compared to search queries for Facebook, Google+ seems like a dwarf. Search queries are indication people’s intent and the lack of it reflect the loss of interest in the network.

This article of mine was originally published in Daily Post. You can also access it here

95% of online Indians spend time on social networking sites

English: India Gate

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The trend of social networking has been growing worldwide and India is no exception with 95% of the online population spending time on social networking sites. This data was revealed today as part of Comscore’s 2011 Social report unveiled today.

For China the figures stand at 53%, US and UK lead with 98% followed by Brazil at 97%. India holds a total online audience (15+ age group) of 45.9mn with those frequenting social networking sites pegged at 43.5mn. The average time spent by Indians on these networks is 3.4 hours. Regardless of how open or closed a society may be, more than half of local online populations are engaging in online social networking, making the practice comparatively ubiquitous around the world.’ This is part of data for October 2011.

It’s no surprise that Facebook has emerged as dominant player among social networking sites behind Google sites and Microsoft sites. Facebook overtook Orkut in July 2010 as the number one player by the virtue of total unique visitors. Facebook has 81.9% reach to India audience with 37,600 total unique visitors followed by Orkut, LinkedIn, BharatStudent and Twitter. Facebook is way ahead of the competition in the Indian market with an avergae user spending 221.8 minutes, for Orkut its 21.4 minutes and others even less.

Facebook has managed to reach 55% of world’s global audience and accounted for approximately ‘3 in every 4 minutes spent on social networking sites and 1 in every 7 minutes spent online around the world.’ Facebook is showing no signs of slowing down after it overtook orkut in India and is expected to soon become the dominant social network in Brazil as well. However, it still trails behind regional social networks in Poland and South Korea. Facebook is blocked in China losing access to a large online audience.

According to the report, social networking sites now reach 82% of the world’s online population, representing 1.2 billion users around the world. This is in sycn with the global internet adoption curve and increase in connectivity with nearly 1 in 5 minutes online is spent on social networking sites.

Where age groups is concerned, social networking sites are no longer frequented by young ‘kids’ only. In India,  55+ age group is fast emerging the leading segment with a penetration of 83.3% (males) and 87.6% (females).  The highest reach is for the 15-24 age group with 99% of the population.

Compared to rest of the world the East Asian countries spend least amount of time on social networks with the exception of Phillippines, where 43% of the online time is spent on social networks.

The full ComScore report can be accessed here

This article of mine was originally published in Daily Post. You can also access it here

Do more with LinkedIn


Are you on LinkedIn? Image by Christopher S. Penn via Flickr

LinkedIn is more than your resume, it’s your professional identity which tracks where you have been, people you are connected with and the recommendations you have received for it. Often cited as the number one choice of recruiters who love to browse through your connections and even make enquiries for your past work. There are ways through which you can manage your professional personality through sprucing up your profile by connecting your blog, Twitter account, Slide Share, participating in Groups and answering Q&A among other options available through LinkedIn.

Let’s talk about what more could be done using your LinkedIn profile data.

InMaps: Brought about by LinkedIn Labs, which hosts projects and experimental features built by LinkedIn employees, InMaps allows LinkedIn users to ‘visualise their professional network, clustered in real-time based on their inter-relationships.’ Those linked with same colour reflect a same set of connections which could be either your schoolmates, colleagues at a company you worked long time back or people you met at a conference. You can label these connection and see how your connections pan out.

Resume Builder: Another LinkedIn Labs product, the Resume Builder allows you to build, save and share beautifully formatted resumes based on your LinkedIn profile. You need to pick a template that best describes your personality: classic, modern, business, executive etc. Your resume details are automatically populated through your LinkedIn profile which you can customise further. You can save the file as PDF and through a customised link share via email, Twitter and Facebook. Hailed as the next big think in resume making, provides a relief from lengthy and boring traditional text based resumes. You can either connect through LinkedIn or create a new account to view your education, work, skills and language expertise in a beautifully crafted visualisation through timeline and vibrant colours. You can customise your own URL and attach your Facebook, Twitter and portfolio, which can be shared as professional resume that not only looks good but also speaks of your achievements.

Connection Timeline: LinkedIn engineers again strike an ace by crafting a time line for your career. If you can’t remember where you met your contacts and when, try this feature to ‘play’ a timeline of your connections since the start of your career. The sleek horizontal visualisation would take you back memory lane.

Year in Review: This helps you get a visual representation of your contacts who in a particular year have changed their jobs. You can see who got promoted, switched jobs or started something on their own.

Above article was published in Daily Post, you can also view it here