774 million members claimed throughout the world, who are distributed in almost all the countries of the world – more than 200. Billions of links between Internet users, professional, school or friends. An extraordinary acquisition in 2016 by Microsoft, which put on the table no less than 26 billion dollars to get its hands on it.
No other professional social network can claim such numbers. Viadeo, Xing or even Facebook, which tried from 2016 to enter the pro market, with a function to search for a job, are reduced to walking in the shadow of LinkedIn. In short, Facebook controls the main leisure social network; LinkedIn, that of professionals.
This characteristic is found indirectly in its name, since it refers to this well-known practice in the trades: networking. LinkedIn is also a twist that evokes the link that one can have with his company and the possibilities that the platform offers to link and connect with other people, from his company, his promotion or elsewhere.
From SocialNet to LinkedIn, via PayPal
LinkedIn has always been called that. At the end of 2002, the startup was founded by Reid Hoffman and Eric Ly. In May 2003, the site was launched. ” I decided to launch LinkedIn because the professional space was really interesting “, confided Reid Hoffman in 2009 in an exchange with CNN. Previously, he had tried the experience of a more classic social network, SocialNet.
« I’ve seen the whole online market step up. I was very keen to get started and create new businesses, so I resigned from my job at Fujitsu in July 1997. In August, I started my first company, SocialNet “, he will indicate during his interview with the American media. At the beginning, SocialNet was mainly centered on meetings, but not only in love.
« The idea for SocialNet was that you have millions of people all posting online, so what kind of apps can you build to connect them? SocialNet focused on online dating. There were also activities like finding golf partners, roommates and that sort of thing. “, he will add.
Ironically, SocialNet was born at the beginning of the Internet bubble, that is to say during this period located in the late 90s until 2000. Technology stocks suffered a speculative bubble which allowed them to be worth a lot of money. But after 2000, it is the tumble. But it was during this fall that LinkedIn was born. And it is he who has survived until today.
LinkedIn’s beginnings were funded by the sale of PayPal – indeed, it joined the online payment service for a time, after the SocialNet experience. This helped fund LinkedIn’s early days precisely at a time when the euphoria of the dot-com bubble had finally burst, pushing tech stocks to pre-bubble levels.
« Part of how I make my personal decisions is, ‘What are the areas where I can have the most personal impact on the world?’ I’ve decided that LinkedIn is that thing, more than investing, more than anything else “, he added at the time. And today ? Reid Hoffman has been offered a seat on Microsoft’s board of directors.