LinkedIn's big mobile push
The professional social network is on the verge of a mobile tipping point.
By Julia Boorstin, CNBC
LinkedIn (LNKD) hosted its first "Mobile Day" on Wednesday, unveiling mobile growth statistics and new mobile products. A week ahead of the company's earnings announcement, CEO Jeff Weiner announced a focus on mobile as a game-changer for its products and revenue, and the way its users work.
The business network is on the verge of a mobile tipping point. Weiner said 38 percent of visits are now from mobile users, up from 33 percent in the second quarter, and he believes the company will cross the 50 percent threshold next year.
And that should translate to revenue. Mobile users are 2.5 times as active as desktop-only users, and sponsored updates now draw over 50 percent of revenue from mobile devices. And the company said over the past year, it has "mobil-ized" all three parts of its business: recruiting, ads and subscriptions.
To make LinkedIn part of the No. 1 activity on mobile – email -- LinkedIn announced Intro, a tool that brings the professional network into email. (Four years ago, less than 4 percent of emails were read on mobile; over 50 percent are now.)
Users can click on a sender's name to see a LinkedIn profile (within the email). Based on LinkedIn's acquisition of start-up Rapportive, the tool layers LinkedIn over every professional email -- and should encourage those using Intro to click over to the LinkedIn app to connect to the site.
The company also updated other mobile apps. It redesigned its Apple (AAPL) iPad app to tailor it to how people use tablets -- with more search, influencer content and easy buttons. It integrated the Pulse news app it bought earlier this year with LinkedIn to deliver tailored content recommendations, enabling users to share and comment.
This news came just a few hours after both its mobile app and website stopped working. LinkedIn said, "Our site is currently experiencing some issues" and directed users to "stay updated by following @LinkedIn on Twitter."
Weiner addressed the embarrassing outage right off the bat, stating that it was "wholly unrelated, and things are starting to come back to normal."
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