Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) introduced the “followers” as a new feature of its LinkedIn Today news feed service. The followers feature promotes original content from influential individuals in their respective industries, and allows users outside their network to follow and receive updates.
Many observed that Linkedln’s new feature is similar to the services provided by Twitter and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) on their websites, where users can follow and receive updates from celebrities, business leaders, companies, politicians, organizations, etc.
Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) preselected 150 industry leaders who can have followers outside their network. The professional social network called these individuals “influencers” including President Barack Obama, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, BP Capital founder and CEO T. Boone Pickens, Bloomberg television anchor Betty Liu, and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson among others.
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According to LinkedIn’s head of content Ryan Roslansky, it is a natural evolution to allow users follow the influencers and discover opportunities in various industries. He said, “We’ve got all these phenomenal influencers on LinkedIn and we see it as a natural evolution to let people follow those influencers.” He added, “LinkedIn wants everything you read to give you a leg up in your industry, no matter what it is.”
According to LinkeIn, the selected influencers will publish original contents to Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD), such as the article “Five Top Tips to Starting a Successful Business” by Richard Branson, and “The Best Thing You Can Create in Life” by Deepak Chopra, MD. A team of editors will review and provide feedback to the articles of the influencers, but they will not edit it.
Chef Marcus Samuelsson said he joined LinkedIn’s new feature because of its reputation; it offers a great opportunity to learn the requirements and the latest developments in his industry. He said, “I wanted to work with LinkedIn because they are a respectable guide for job seekers. With so many followers and users, I thought this would be another great platform to find out what’s needed in my industry as well as learn what’s new in the field.”
Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) has 175 million members worldwide. The members select and connect with their own network of business and professional contacts primarily to find jobs, and they only share their information to their contacts in the website.
According to analysts, the new feature would help the company generate more revenue from advertisements, as users will be encouraged to spend more time on the LinkedIn website. Last year, the company reported $522 million in revenue from advertisements, premium subscriptions, and specialized services offered to recruitment agencies.
Based on data from comScore in August, Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) users spent an average of 20.6 minutes and the average visit on its website is 5 times in August. On the other hand, Facebook users spent an average of 402.9 minutes on its platform, with 35.6 average visits in August.
On September 21, analysts from research firm Cantor Fitzgerald initiated a “hold” rating for LinkedIn stock and a $120 per share price target. The analysts told investors that the company is becoming one of the most effective global online recruiting platforms.
Shares of Linkedin Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) are up by 0.60 percent, to $118.65 per share during the morning trading at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.