The Epic History of LinkedIn: From Then To Now #LinkedIn

By on February 4, 2014
history of LinkedIn

The history of LinkedIn was retold last year, as the booming business network turned 10. As Valentine’s day perches on the horizon once again it is time to send some love and appreciation to the team at LinkedIn for all of their hard work. Today I am going to give you the epic and scarcely known history of this amazing platform.

Reid Hoffman was the driving force behind putting the LinkedIn team together – and before being a social network giant he worked for Apple, Futjitsu and his own dating website SocialNet.

The Beginning Of LinkedIn: The Team

The epic history of LinkedIn begins like most companies do – in the mind of an ambitious young business person that wants to affect positive change on the world. In 2002, Reid got together with some of his team members from his old dating site ‘SocialNet’ and a few from Paypal to discuss a new idea.

That idea asked the question – where can business people meet, connect and engage online in a secure, professional environment? Some six month later in 2003, LinkedIn was launched. There were only 20 sign-ups a day at one point, and growth was slow.

However – persistence pays off. The LinkedIn team attracted capital investment from Sequoia Capital, which gave them their big break. In late 2003, after integrating address book functionality growth began to explode.

The new groups feature caused a stir, and LinkedIn reached its first significant milestone of 500,000 – then 1,200,000 million users. The history of LinkedIn was only beginning.

The Climb To The Top of Social Networking

With a powerful 4 million or more users, LinkedIn started to concentrate on revenue and launched its jobs and subscriptions offerings. By 2006, with almost 5 million members LinkedIn launched public profiles.

This would be the single defining function for Linkedin, as it reached a state of profit earning income and could escalate its public functions like ‘people you may know’ and ‘recommendations.’ Suddenly there were almost 18 million users. In just 4 years the company had become the leading online business network.

Reid handed over the reins to CEO Dan Nye, and a customer service center was opened to improve feedback, services and company reputation.

history of linkedin

Courtesy of digitalbuzz.me

The Global Business Network That Controls Careers

In 2008, LinkedIn was the signed and sealed top business network in the world. With a little over 31 million members, there was real weight behind the busy platform. Offices opened in London and new languages were added to the mix.

The epic history of LinkedIn continued, with a meterioc rise between 2009 and 2011. Jeff Weiner was ushered in as President of LinkedIn, employee numbers inflated to over 1000 people, and 10 offices were established all over the world. By the end of 2011, LinkedIn had an impressive user base of more than 138 million people.

Then came the re-engineering and revamping of the site. Between 2012 and 2013 the company shifted its focus and re-designed for usability, community and simplicity. Last year, with an incredible 225 million members – the history of LinkedIn is still progressing. There are more than 2 new users every second.

Best of all, LinkedIn now has the power to help career orientated people find their dream jobs. The CV of the future will involve your potential company looking at your LinkedIn page, and evaluating your expertise based on the discussions and intellectual contributions that you have made to the world. This is LinkedIn’s legacy. We love it!

What do you love about LinkedIn this Valentine’s Day? Tell us here.

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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