How LinkedIn is evolving its media business

1Executive Summary

Two years after the debuts of the largest IPOs the markets have seen since the first dot-com bubble, two networks dominate: LinkedIn and Facebook. With the market coming back post-recession and job opportunities starting to heat up again, it is LinkedIn’s market to lose. However, in October LinkedIn caused some investor concern when its latest earnings call’s growth guidance was lower than expected.

The professional social network leader has added to and refined its business over the past two years. What will LinkedIn do next? What opportunities lie ahead? What are the risks? In this research note, we will pick up where we left off in “Post-IPO strategies for LinkedIn” by examining the company’s post-IPO growth, current business model, and its role in the larger professional social marketplace.

Looking ahead:

  • LinkedIn’s focus has been, and continues to be, end-user content consumption and advertising and business marketing and recruitment tools. As competition increases for time and media dollars, will LinkedIn be able to find new products and services for the enterprise and compete with the likes of Oracle?
  • LinkedIn has reinvented professional networking into professional branding but at the cost of the company’s talent solutions, arguably its bread and butter.
  • It is too soon to tell whether LinkedIn’s acquisition strategy is adding or distracting.
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