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February 25 2014


February 19 2014

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February 06 2014

LinkedIn Snatches Up Data Savvy Job Search Startup For $120M, In Its Largest Acquisition To Date
linkedin_logoToday, alongside a fourth quarter earnings report in which it beat Wall Street estimates yet again, LinkedIn announced its intentions to acquire data-savvy job search startup,, for $120 million. The deal, which was 70 percent stock and 30 percent cash the company said, will be completed during the first quarter of this year. In a statement today, LinkedIn said that “several members of Bright’s team,” which now numbers over 50 –particularly those on its engineering and product teams — will be joining LinkedIn in the coming weeks. However, one notices that the announcement conspicuously leaves out any mention of Bright’s founders and whether or not they will be joining LinkedIn’s team in Mountain View. Either way, what is clear is that, unfortunately for users and loyalists, as a result of the acquisition, access to the startup’s job search products will continue until February 28th, at which point it LinkedIn will pull the plug. Why did LinkedIn buy Bright, you ask, and whatever happened to that fella? While we can’t answer for the latter, we do know that the purchase is the latest in a fairly short string of acquisitions LinkedIn has made over the last two years. No Yahoo by any means, LinkedIn has been methodically and strategically picking off startups that will either help expand its growing professional content network or its talent solutions products. It more or less began with LinkedIn’s acquisition of popular email-embedded contact management tool, Rapportive, for around $15 million in early 2012. Since then, as LinkedIn’s public-facing product has put more emphasis on facilitating content-sharing rather than contact-sharing, it’s picked up popular presentation, slideshow and document sharing network, SlideShare, for $119 million and made its big news reader play by snatching up Pulse for $90 million. The acquisition, at least in this context, appears to be a return to home base, and LinkedIn’s first acquisition of any product or startup operating on its home turf — i.e. the job search and professional networking market. As such, this could very likely have been a “defensive” play to acquire an increasingly popular “competitor” before it turned into a behemoth. Granted, generally speaking, has traditionally competed more with the old denizens of the job search space like CareerBuilder and Monster, allowing users and job seekers to search for jobs that match their interests. However, Bright’s core value proposition has been that

February 03 2014

Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google And Yahoo Join Apple In Revealing More On NSA Requests
FILE PHOTO  NSA Compiles Massive Database Of Private Phone CallsAll the big tech companies are opening up a bit more about requests made by the U.S. National Security Agency, with Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and LinkedIn detailing new info included in their respective transparency reports today. The new reports now include how many requests for the data of its members it has received from the government, how many total users were affected, and what percentage of those receive a response from the company. Apple released similar data last week alongside its earning call, and there’s a reason for the timing that’s non-coincidental: A change to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act just put into effect now allows the companies to share more specifics around what kind of information they’re sharing and being asked to share by the government. The increased transparency was put into effect last week, in a ruling addressed to the legal counsel of all those companies listed above. These new reports will be updated every six months, which is also stipulated in the new ruling, subject to changes in the degree of transparency legally allowed by the government. The rules allow for the information around number of FISA orders for content, non-content (i.e. age, name and location) and number of customer accounts to be narrowed only by blocks of 1,000 or more, and the number of customer accounts affected to be reported in chunks of 250. It’s not pulling back the curtain entirely, but it is a step towards greater transparency. This is likely part of U.S. President Obama’s efforts to introduce surveillance reforms, but hopefully it’s just the start, because I imagine this will leave a lot of interested observers hungry for more.

January 27 2014

Department Of Justice Will Allow Big Tech Companies To Disclose Detailed Numbers Of Surveillance Requests
US-Department-Of-JusticeApple today released more details on the requests it receives from government surveillance agencies after the Department Of Justice releaxed limits on disclosures. Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and LinkedIn today were given the right to disclose more details on the data requests and orders they receive from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court after suing the government for months to declassify these numbers.

December 30 2013

73% Of U.S. Adults Use Social Networks, Pinterest Passes Twitter In Popularity, Facebook Stays On Top
Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 15.54.02Facebook may be currently facing question marks over how well it's faring with younger users, but among those over 18 in the U.S. it remains the social network king. According to figures out today from the researchers at the Pew Research Center, the percentage of adults using the social networks of Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram to communicate with each other is now at 73%, and Facebook — the world’s largest social network with 1.19 billion users and a burgeoning international business — remains the most popular in the U.S. as well, with 71% of U.S. adults on it.
73% Of U.S. Adults Use Social Networks, Pinterest Passes Twitter In Popularity, Facebook Stays On Top
Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 15.54.02The U.S. is edging ever closer to social media saturation, with the percentage of adults using multiple social networks to communicate with each other now at 73%, and -- partly thanks to the rise of mobile apps -- the number of people on multiple networks now at 42%, according to figures out today from the researchers at the Pew Research Center.

December 12 2013

LinkedIn Refreshes Its Inbox With Message Previews And A Simpler Interface To Keep Users Around Longer
linkedin-inbox-details-viewLinkedIn, the social network for the professional world, has been going through a overhaul of every aspect of its platform. Today, it's the turn of the inbox, which is refreshing its inbox with better navigation and more instant information. In a way, it's LinkedIn's personal contribution to this week's trend among social platforms like Twitter and Instagram to revisit their messaging services.

December 11 2013

For Some Reason, Everyone On LinkedIn Likes To Call Themselves “Responsible”
linkedinThe reign of "creative" LinkedIn profiles appears to be over. The company is releasing its list of the most overused buzzwords in 2013, based on the words that appear most frequently on the professional networking site's profiles. In 2011 and 2012, the most overused word was "creative", but this year "creative" was beaten by "responsible." On one hand, that's less obviously self-defeating than describing yourself as creative. On the other hand, it's more than little ... uninspiring.

November 19 2013

LinkedIn's New Showcase Pages Allow Companies To Highlight Specific Products And Projects
LinkedIn is announcing a new feature called a Showcase Page that will allow businesses on the professional networking site to target the fans of a specific product or brand. David Thacker, the company's vice president of marketing solutions products, said that when companies with a number of different products are trying to discuss all of them from a single page, it can become "a little bit overwhelming" for followers who aren't necessarily interested in all of that content.

November 13 2013

LinkedIn Drops LinkedIn Today For Pulse Newsreader; Integrates LinkedIn Sign-On Into Pulse's Updated App
LinkedIn, the social network for the working world now with 259 million users, is today taking the covers off its latest moves to make itself more than just a place that people visit when they're hunting for their next job (or employee). It is integrating Pulse -- the social newsreading app it acquired in April 2013 for $90 million -- into its main homepage; and it is now providing a social sign-on within the newest version of the Pulse app, out today on iOS and Android. The changes -- which were first previewed last month -- will also see LinkedIn dropping LinkedIn Today, the in-house social reading service that the company launched in 2011.

October 29 2013

LinkedIn Beats In Q3 With Revenue of $393M, EPS of $0.39, But Weak Q4 Guidance Sends Its Stock Lower
LinkedIn reported its third-quarter earnings today, with revenue of $393 million (up 56 percent) and earnings per share of $0,39. Analysts had expected LinkedIn to earn $0.31 per share, on revenue of $385 million. In the comparable year-ago quarter, LinkedIn earned $0.22 on revenue of $252 million. On a GAAP basis, LinkedIn lost $0.03 per share. However, LinkedIn’s performance is generally measured on a per-share basis in non-GAAP terms. For the quarter, LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions group had revenue of $224.7 million (up 62 percent year over year), its Marketing Solutions had $88.5 million in revenue (up 38 percent), year over year), and its Premium Subscriptions top line totaled $79.8 million (up 61 percent), year over year). LinkedIn reported revenue guidance for its fourth quarter of $415 million to $420 million. Investors had forecasted a figure of around $20 million more. In normal trading, LinkedIn was up around 1.5 percent). Following its earnings beat, LinkedIn is down in after-hours trading. Investors, it appears, are disappointed with what appears to be slowing top-line growth at LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a very richly valued company. Before its stock moved, following its earnings release, LinkedIn had a trailing PE ratio in the hundreds, a forward PE of 111, and a PEG ratio of 2.92, according to Yahoo Finance. That means it cannot afford missteps, as investors are expecting consistently strong results. The company had non-GAAP net income of $46.8 million in the period. For the quarter, LinkedIn’s adjusted EBITDA totalled $92.8 million. The company had a GAAP net loss of $3.4 million in the quarter, up around 50 percent year-over-year. LinkedIn had 259 million users at the end of the quarter. In sum, LinkedIn had a strong quarter, but its lower-than-expected stated expectations for its year-end quarter have unnerved investors. Top Image Credit: Sheila Scarborough

October 24 2013

LinkedIn's Intro Feature Is Very Cool, And A Spectacularly Bad Idea
Earlier today LinkedIn launched a new iPad app and what appeared to be a pretty slick feature for iOS Mail called Intro. It presents the a profile of email senders right within the body of the message, with more details available on a tap — in a similar manner to other email tools like Rapportive. Intro appears to deliver all of the details of your contacts to your fingertips in a nifty interface. It’s also a spectacularly bad idea for you to activate this feature. See, iOS Mail does not have an official extensible framework. Apple does not provide any APIs or frameworks to developers that would allow this kind of modification of its interface. Instead, LinkedIn is acting as a ‘man in the middle’ by intercepting (with your permission) your email and injecting HTML code into it that enables a style sheet to pop open over your content, containing an extended profile that offers information on positions held, connections and a bunch of other stuff. The implementation, explained in a LinkedIn blog post, is pretty admirable from an engineering perspective. As ‘hacks’ go, this is a really clever solution to Apple’s fairly restrictive policies. But when you dig into the methods that LinkedIn is using to enable Intro, it becomes clear that this is a much more sticky proposition than it appears. Right off the bat, the installation process requires that you install a configuration profile that contains a set of signing certificates and an encrypted profile. Then it asks for your email username and password, unless it’s a Gmail account in which case the more secure Oauth method is used — which requires no password given to LinkedIn. Those enable LinkedIn to (presumably securely) obtain permission to act as a middle man between you and your email provider. This proxy server is what is used to intercept (yes, as in grab, open and modify) your email and inject the code that makes Intro possible. There don’t appear to be any humans involved in the process, and one would pray that your email contents remain un-readable somehow but I’m not sure how that’s possible. The ‘top bar’ that enables the feature is not a field or part of the header, it’s additional content that gets inserted into the body of the email. LinkedIn appears to confirm that this is how this works. “We understand that operating an email
Tags: TC LinkedIn intro

October 23 2013

LinkedIn Launches Intro Which Embeds Rapportive Info Into The iOS Mail App, Plus An iPad Redesign
LinkedIn's Jeff Weiner says the barrier to his vision is scale, so it's beefing up its mobile experience with Intro, an integration adding LinkedIn and Rapportive info to Apple's Mail app, and a redesigned iPad app. Intro works with Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Aol Mail, iCloud, and Google Apps, and inserting LinkedIn profile photos and job titles below the To/From section of emails in Apple's Mail app.
LinkedIn Hits 38% Of Unique Visits From Mobile, Up From 8% In Q1 2011
LinkedIn is making the shift to mobile too. It now sees 38% of unique visits from mobile. The 38% figure is up from 8% in 2011, and users who access via mobile are 2.5x as active as desktop-only users. At an event in San Francisco this morning, CEO Jeff Weiner said he expects LinkedIn to have its “mobile moment” with more than 50% of visits from mobile next year. Some countries have already had that moment. Singapore is over 50%, while Australia is fast approaching at 45%. For reference, YouTube announced that 40% of usage now comes from mobile, while Twitter sees 70% of ad revenue from mobile and Facebook sees 41% of ad revenue from mobile. It’s important to note that LinkedIn isn’t saying 38% of traffic is from mobile, as web users may spend more time per session browsing its professional graph. The company now has 3 million businesses and over a quarter billion professionals with LinkedIn profiles.  Though its profiles for schools and universities only launched six weeks ago, there are now 1500 education outlet profiles on LinkedIn. Those are just the first step. Weiner stressed that “Our vision today is to develop the world’s first economic graph..{which will] map the global economy and and every economic opportunity in the world, either part-time or full-time.” LinkedIn doesn’t just want to know where you’ve worked. It wants to know what’s the next job opening you’ll fill.

October 02 2013

LinkedIn's Mobile Update Telegraphs Its Interest In Endorsement Data
LinkedIn has updated its iPhone app with the ability to create endorsements for your connections right from your smartphone or tablet. The move demonstrates how important LinkedIn feels that this endorsement data is to its growing trove of signals. The app has also been updated to look more ‘iOS 7-ready’ and has a new on-boarding guide for users that haven’t used the mobile app before. The LinkedIn newsreader app Pulse for iPhone also gets a refresh which adds background downloading and a new look on iOs 7. But the biggest change is the emphasis on endorsements in the main LinkedIn app, and the additional connective tissue that this adds to its products on all platforms. In a blog post announcing the new ability today, LinkedIn positions endorsements as something that can and should be done on the fly. Previously, these kinds of personal recommendations have only been accessible from the web and were a fairly involved affair. You could draw a fairly clear connection between endorsements and the references you see on a resume. Thorough, in-depth explanations of why someone is good at what they do.  Adding them to mobile, along with the language in the release, indicates that LinkedIn wants to ramp up the gathering of these endorsements. Faster, lighter notes about why someone should be considered an expert sounds like a good supplemental source of data that LinkedIn can use to index and recommend workers. Though endorsements have been around since late last year — and LinkedIn says that over 2B of them have been given to day — adding them to mobile introduces a new dynamic. In some ways this sounds like what Geeklist has been doing with developers and tech folks for a while. Geeklist allows users to create ‘brag cards’ of achievements and accomplishments that can be summed up in just a couple of sentences. If LinkedIn is able to turn endorsements into this kind of quick-fire card stack that can be flipped through by users and indexed by LinkedIn itself, it might have something interesting on its hands. Specifically, a source of endorsements that’s more human and parseable. LinkedIn has gained a reputation for being overly complex and dry. A layer of humanity and shareable ‘brag points’ could do something to offset that. These moves fit in with LinkedIn’s efforts to make online resumes feel more at home on mobile. Messaging services for networking and

October 01 2013

Senior Facebook, Netflix Scientist Joins Identified To Help It Fix Professional Search, Take On LinkedIn
This summer, Identified pulled back the curtain on a new artificial intelligence technology, called "SYMAN," which it developed to help organize and clean the swaths of unstructured professional data that today lives on the Web. In doing so, the startup moved away from its original focus -- a kind of Facebook data-driven "Klout score for professionals" -- essentially admitting that if it were going to give job seekers and companies a better way to connect and find talent, it would have to address the elephant in the room: Data.

August 21 2013

LinkedIn Revamps Pulse Apps With Faster Search, More Discovery Tools
When LinkedIn acquired newsreader Pulse earlier this year for $90 million, it said the Pulse apps would remain and the two companies would instead find ways to work together. Today, LinkedIn continues to make good on those promises with an update to the Pulse mobile apps on both iOS and Android, which introduce improvements to search, discovery and recommendations.
Tags: TC Linkedin Pulse

August 19 2013

Losing Our Childhood To LinkedIn
What's scarier than a 14-year-old girl choosing her sexiest Facebook profile pic? Maybe a 14-year-old girl inflating her resume on LinkedIn. Childhood used to be a time of self-exploration, but the Internet is pushing kids to define themselves early and put that facade on display. While online tools could give ambitious youth a leg-up for the future, they force that future on some too soon.
LinkedIn Growing Up: Opens Up To High School Students Over 13, Launches Dedicated Pages For Universities Worldwide
While there has been quite a lot of discussion about how Facebook may be losing its cache among younger users who are going elsewhere for their social media kicks, today LinkedIn made a bold move to start reaching out itself to this very lucrative, if fickle, audience: is beginning to promote itself to high school students ("13+ for most countries around the world" a spokesperson explains to me) and it has launched University Pages, dedicated pages for universities for people to add to their profiles and to reach out to people. LinkedIn hopes that both moves will not only expand the reach of how people use its site as their default anchor for resume-style information online. And also how it, too, could potentially tap into this user base to begin long-term relationships.
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