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LinkedIn Business Model | How LinkedIn Makes Money?

by Waffle Bytes
Linkedin Job search app

LinkedIn is based on helping professionals to connect on a global scale, LinkedIn has fully established itself as a professional community in this competitive market.

The platform currently has over 830 million users in more than 200 countries and territories, 80% of whom consider professional networking to be vital to their career success.

LinkedIn’s business model is a freemium model where core features are provided for free, but the company charges money for extended features for job seekers as well as for companies.

What is Linkedin?

LinkedIn was founded by Reed Hoffman, a renowned American Internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist, with the aim of creating a community for connecting professionals worldwide.

The community reached over 1 million users in August 2004 and has been growing at an incredible rate since then. The mobile version of the website was launched in February 2008 and the company was acquired by Microsoft in February 2016 for $26.2 billion.

As a professional network, LinkedIn is popular not only among job seekers but also among businesses, with over 63 million companies listed on the platform (LinkedIn, 2022).

Just like on Facebook, you connect with other professionals by sending requests to them on LinkedIn. Your profile serves as your resume and others have access to your professional information including your current and past jobs, achievements, experiences, etc.

Even though it is one of the fastest-growing social networks, LinkedIn is still unknown to most of the world’s population. This one-of-a-kind professional social networking platform has over 498 million active monthly users and is used by professionals and corporates to build their personal as well as corporate brands online and connect with millions of other professionals.

The professional community also hosts millions of jobs listed by over 58 million companies and it is no surprise to find that 87% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Business Model

Along with connecting professionals, LinkedIn also connects you with companies and recruiters. The company has irreparably established itself as the only platform worthy of professional networking. Along with professionals, it also serves companies and charges a fee for providing some premium services. Unlike other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, users also pay for standing on this platform.

Here is a list of LinkedIn Premium features for both companies and professionals.

LinkedIn Premium Features Professionals:

  • InMail credits: These sponsored emails help connect professionals with hiring managers.
  • Who’s Viewed Your Profile: This feature lets you see who viewed your profile in the last 90 days and who views it next.
  • LinkedIn Learning courses: Hone your skills or try something new — access over 15,000 expert-led LinkedIn Learning courses.

LinkedIn Premium Features Businesses:

  • More InMail credits: This feature lets businesses contact peers, industry leaders, or potential partners by email. It is 2.6x more effective than email alone.
  • Sales Navigator: The tool is a set of subscription-based offerings from LinkedIn. The offerings are designed to help sales professionals identify prospects, receive alerts on prospects’ activities on LinkedIn, and request introductions to prospects through shared connections.
  • Sponsored Job: Receive 3x the number of applicants when you promote your LinkedIn Job Post compared to when you post it for free.

Linkedin Revenue Model

Compared to most social networking sites that generate most of their revenue through advertising, LinkedIn has a different business model. LinkedIn’s revenue model can be divided into two parts:

Business Solutions

LinkedIn is a comprehensive solution to grow your professional network and find new opportunities. Every user on LinkedIn has different needs. Whether it’s finding new networking opportunities, skilled employees, marketing new campaigns, selling sales or learning business concepts, LinkedIn Business Solutions has the services to meet most of these needs.

Business Solutions is a collective name given to the premium services provided by the company to its users. it consists of –

Talent Solutions

Contributing to over 71% of total revenue, talent solutions are the most essential services and tools included in the LinkedIn business model. Talent Solutions includes premium recruiting tools for companies and recruiters to help them find the most suitable employee/partner for their business. The primary services offered under Talent Solutions are:

  • LinkedIn Recruiter
  • Job Location
  • Recruitment Media
  • Career Page
  • Work With Us on Ads

Notably, one of the major differences between LinkedIn from other job portals is that users typically don’t join LinkedIn just to seek jobs, they join LinkedIn to build and promote their brand.

Recruiters get a better image of the person on LinkedIn than on any other job portal like Indeed or Monster Jobs. LinkedIn Talent Solutions is also a flagship service that helps recruiters hunt down employees from competing companies.

Marketing Solution

This second service is all about running ad campaigns for LinkedIn’s audience, which is made up of its users. Businesses can deliver content to target audiences, generate leads, and ultimately measure their ROI. Businesses can also develop sponsored content and advertisements, whether by email, or direct messages that users can send to users they are connected with.

Apart from being the best recruitment platform, LinkedIn is also a social marketing website for brands to execute their marketing campaigns.

The service contributes to over 18% of the company’s total revenue and provides features that allow companies to not only create a company page, but also augment their marketing efforts by creating sponsored content, sponsored emails, and text ads. Increases.

Premium Subscription

Premium subscriptions are premium solutions for individuals on LinkedIn. It allows users to access certain features that are not available to non-members. The premium plans are designed to cater to the specific needs of the users.

Membership Includes:

  • Career
  • Business Plus
  • Sales Navigator
  • Recruiter Lite

Career solutions

By upgrading to a premium career account, job seekers can deepen their visibility, get a wider reach, and access applicants’ insight. which lets you compare your profile with others. You can learn more about who is looking at your profile and gain access to online video courses and salary information.

Job search solutions

Job seekers can use InMail, which allows contacting anyone on LinkedIn, even those with whom you are not yet connected.
The premium version includes more detailed business and career options.

Sales Solutions

Linkedin premium sales solutions enhance your social selling strategies by providing tools such as lead builder enhanced search, sales insights, InMail, lead recommendations, and saved leads.

Recruitment Solutions

The recruitment solutions subscription provided as part of the premium solutions is a simplified version of the Talent solutions. This subscription let you access smart suggestions, automatic candidate tracking, integrated hiring, and a recruiting-specific website design, in addition to standard features such as email messages, who viewed your profile, and so on.

Acquisitions & Partnerships

LinkedIn has also expanded its business model through numerous acquisitions, including some well-known names such as:

LinkedIn Learning

Lynda is one of LinkedIn’s most recent acquisitions. It was a video-based e-learning platform with a subscription-based revenue model that allowed users to learn business, software, technology, and creative skills.

The platform name was changed to LinkedIn Learning, but its business model remained unchanged.


LinkedIn acquired Slideshare in 2013 to provide a way for its members to discover people through content. LinkedIn Slideshare is a slide hosting service that allows users to upload content in PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote, or OpenDocument format, either privately or publicly.

The service is provided free to everyone.

In conclusion

LinkedIn’s business model is completely built on job search, professional relationships, and connections. Moreover, they have a massive market share against their competitors. With a few innovations, LinkedIn can continue to dominate the market but contribute to the world in a more meaningful way, such as expanding its ways of helping users — who simply can’t pay for a subscription. They can use LinkedIn to try and find jobs for free.

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