The focus on mobile is intentional. Forty-one percent of LinkedIn’s traffic came from mobile during Q4, which spurred investment in this area. Much of the development will focus on the LinkedIn feed in order to promote content consumption.
“We wanted LinkedIn to be a mechanism to filter information that would ‘flow to me through my network that could be good for me’ and we think of content as a natural extension of a social network,” said Allen Blue, LinkedIn's co-founder and VP of product management. “People turn to information from publishers and Google to help them make better decisions. We want to build up a data resource to help us all make better decisions.”
Curiously, LinkedIn’s movements, which include Groups, an Influencer program, Showcase Pages (launched in November as an extension of Company Pages) and Sponsored Updates, almost mimic Twitter and Facebook's monetization march.
This is also evident when one examines how LinkedIn’s tools are designed to provide more paid media opportunities for marketers based on real-time information through trending content. The company introduced self-serve native ad units last year and already has an ads API; CEO Jeff Weiner has also spoken of enabling programmatic-buying abilities for ad purchases.
And just as Facebook coined the “social graph,” LinkedIn wants to build “an economic graph” of the world’s employees, employers, jobs and skill sets. LinkedIn’s revenues are still, for the most part, derived from recruiting tools via Talent Solutions (this accounts for 55% of business, per LinkedIn’s latest earnings call). However, about 25% of revenues, or $113 million in Q4, came from Marketing Solutions, a slight slip from the 27% in 2012.