LinkedIn Lookup Leapfrogs Company Intranets

In April Ankit Gupta of LinkedIn learned that about 30 percent of LinkedIn users search for coworkers’ profiles each month. Wondering why, he and his coworkers survey 800 plus users about company intranets, where presumably they would have access to profile information.

But they were surprised to find that only 38% of professionals believed their company intranets were effective at finding coworker information, and 58% thought they’d do their jobs better if they could find coworkers with specific skills.

So they have created LinkedIn Lookup to address that specific deep-and-narrow painpoint.

LinkedIn Lookup source: LinkedIn

The mobile app allows users to search for coworkers with specific keywords in their LinkedIn profiles, and then to contact them by email or phone, as long as coworkers opt in.

This is a great example of a deep-and-narrow app — breaking out functionality into an app that does one thing, maps to one specific use case — based on our willingness to shift across dozens of specialized apps on our mobile devices.

This is much like the ‘workstyle’ apps that Jive has been innovating on, and released as Jive Chime, Jive Daily, and Lookup’s direct competitor, Jive Circle (see Jive breaks out of the ‘social collaboration’ platform model with new ‘workstyle’ apps).

LinkedIn is clearly using its large database of user profiles to advantage, and is backing into the enterprise market for work management and workforce communication with initiatives like this.