LinkedIn upgrade offers inside scoop on companies

Louis Gray: Silicon Valley Blog talks about the recent upgrade at LinkedIn. The big kahuna of online professional networking has recently added detailed profiles on 160,000 companies to its site that give juicy details on employee turnover, corporate connections, median age, etc. at companies like Google, eBay, Microsoft, Facebook, and others.

Louis Gray says,

"While corporate profiles have been around forever, LinkedIn adds "special sauce" through its large user database, determining where employees come from and leave to, what other companies they are connected to, and who may recently have changed positions or joined the company. Good stuff."

I agree, I think it’s a fantastic idea and if LinkedIn has all this user data, it makes sense for it to do something with it. But the accuracy of this data is highly suspect because for one, it depends on the users to update this information and how regularly users update their data is highly debatable. Secondly, are the folks on LinkedIn typical of everyone at that company, in other words how representative are these numbers of the entire population?

Gray goes on to say,

"LinkedIn opening up this data will keep company marketeers and PR on the alert to see how their data is being portrayed, just as they should be watching their coverage on Wikipedia, for in this case, it’s their employees’ collective data that is pushing the details, without a filter, and just maybe, the truth will reveal more than they had ever imagined. I know I’ll be spending a lot more time poking around LinkedIn now myself."

I can see a need for companies to stay on top of and manage their perception on LinkedIn and I can also see this as a great resource for folks looking for new employment or investment opportunity. But it’s not clear as to how LinkedIn is planning to monetize this feature. The site can promote account upgrades by offering this additional feature, but I didn’t see anything on the site to indicate that they are promoting this in a big way. Or is this intended to increase user engagement? Probably little of both.

I’ve blogged in the past on how LinkedIn needs to do more to increase the ‘stickiness’ of its site, and this seems to be a step in the right direction but how effective it is, remains to be seen.   

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