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The origins of LinkedIn: the history of the social network

History of LinkedIn

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LinkedIn: from its origins to today, discover its history.

LinkedIn is today the most popular professional social network with an average of 1 in 3 registered professionals worldwide. LinkedIn is here to help you develop your business network.
The development of the network continues to grow in view of the various updates that are increasingly innovative and useful to professionals.
However, LinkedIn is still sometimes unrecognized. At the age of 16, let’s take a look at the unusual history of LinkedIn…

Before LinkedIn

Gone are the days when word of mouth mattered only. Professionals of the time still remember the big trade fairs, company visits, conferences or trade shows where they returned with dozens or even hundreds of business cards, wondering if they were all the same. not missed other useful contacts.
We met the professionals at professional events, but we did not have access to them beyond. If the business card syndrome still exists in some cultures, it has largely been supplemented or replaced by digital technologies developed in recent years. And among these, there is one which is a phenomenal success  : LINKEDIN  ! 

The founders of LinkedIn

From Silicon Valley, LinkedIn is a  professional social network created by Reid Hoffman and Allen Blue in California in Mountain View. Hoffman and Blue were assisted by three other entrepreneurs, namely Jean-Luc Vaillant, Eric Ly and Konstantin Guericke.
Hoffman is loaded with degrees and masters from Stanford and Oxford universities but leaves academia for industry  ; he holds important positions, particularly at Apple  and Fujitsu; he participated in the creation of PayPal and is involved in Venture Capital companies.
He recruits former colleagues to found LinkedIn. Allen Blue is also a Stanford graduate and successively holds important positions in industry and US government.
The other three co-founders, one of whom is French, are also academics and are involved in various technical aspects of the network.

The creation of LinkedIn

On December 28, 2002, the founders decided to move from the idea to the concrete. Contrary to popular belief, LinkedIn predates Facebook, which itself was founded in 2004.  Developed in six phases, the network was launched on May 1, 2003 with … ten members  !

Growth and evolution

At first, growth is slow and even more than expected. Rumors (unverified) even state less than twenty new affiliations per day during the first weeks.  !
Despite the poor launch of the platform, in 2003, 81,000 members populated the ranks of LinkedIn with 14 full-time employees.
Thanks to the success of LinkedIn, the founders are experimenting with various features such as InMaps, Slideshare, Pulse, InMails or even the creation of premium subscriptions. 
Half a million members were reached in April 2004 and 1,600,000 at the end of the year  ! The year 2004 is a meteoric takeoff for LinkedIn with a new membership every second  !
In 2005 LinkedIn Jobs was created and modified the recruitment methods (see below).
At the end of 2006, we reached 8 million members  ; the meter literally panics to exceed 300 million at the end of 2014.
The success is phenomenal.

And today  ?

To this day we count more than half a billion members from 170 business sectors in more than 200 countries different.
Hundreds of industrial firms are present, including the 500 member companies of ”  Fortune  “.
Of course, some countries are more difficult to access, but by adapting to local rules, LinkedIn has achieved a spectacular breakthrough.
LinkedIn is available in over 24 languages  ; practically all European languages, but also Arabic, Chinese, Malay, Turkish and Tagalog.
It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the acronym ”  LNKD  »And employs nearly ten thousand employees.
The company has representative offices in many countries.

Since 2011, LinkedIn has been bought by the giant Microsoft for $ 26.2 billion. Or, for 23.3 billion euros.
The effects of LinkedIn are increasingly present in the business world. Since the creation of LinkedIn Jobs, anyone (workers and employers) can create their profile and connections, and can invite anyone, whether a member or not, to join the community.
The profile can be a real CV which increasingly replaces the CV ”  paper  »Less and less asked.
Created in November 2008, a multilingual function even allows members to translate their CV-profile into more than 40 languages.
Users can also share files or their own presentations there using the Slide-Share application.
Let us also mention the groups which are circles of reflection and professional exchanges. LinkedIn groups are grouped by areas of interest and members share their expertise, thoughts or feedback.
A search engine makes it possible to search, within a group, for particular skills. A group directory has also been created.
Another consequence is the gradual decrease in the activities of “  head hunters  »Traditional, and this for all levels of responsibility.
The company became profitable in March 2006 with an economic model based on three sources of income:  advertising (18%),  subscriptions (20%) and recruiting services (62%).

Based on multiple acquisitions and alliances, LinkedIn is constantly evolving, both in terms of operation and aesthetics.

In conclusion

In the business world, success could be summed up in one word  : the network .
We cannot stress enough its importance and this is what the designers and developers of LinkedIn have perfectly integrated by allowing the following three levels  :

1) A first degree which concerns our direct contacts 
2) A second with the contacts of our contacts 
3) The third with the contacts of our second degree contacts.

LinkedIn is constantly reinventing itself and adding new features as acquisitions occur. We are therefore far from the business card book of 20 years ago  !
To create an effective LinkedIn profile, follow my 10 secrets .

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Yannick Bouissière Expert LinkedIn

Qui est Yannick BOUISSIERE ?

Considéré comme l’expert LinkedIn™ n°1 en francophonie, j’ai aidé plus de 10 000 personnes à améliorer leur visibilité sur LinkedIn™ et à générer de réelles opportunités professionnelles.

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