September 15th, 2008
LinkedIn launches advertising network
By Jemima Kiss
The Guardian (UK)
Business social networking site LinkedIn has created an advertising network that will allow partner publishers to identify LinkedIn users and target them across hundreds of sites.
The site has joined ad network Collective Media to create the LinkedIn Audience Network, which lets advertisers target specific sections of LinkedIn users - called the InCrowds - based on the information in their profiles.
Targeting could be based on the type of industry - such as aviation, pharmaceuticals or IT - the level of seniority, size of company or the gender of users, although individuals will not be identified and can opt out.
Partner publishers, which are likely to include existing partners such as the New York Times, BusinessWeek and CNBC, will share the advertising revenue with LinkedIn and Collective Media.
LinkedIn users will be tagged through a cookie on their computers, which will be used to identify them when they visit partner websites.
LinkedIn said there would be “hundreds” of publishing partners involved in the network. It will charge between $30 and $76.50 per thousand views for a display ad - considerably higher than most other social networks.
The site claims it has a more affluent and attractive user base than the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and Forbes, with an average age of 41, average household income of $109,703 and more than 80% university graduates.
Kevin Eyres, the LinkedIn Europe managing director, said the economic slowdown would mean advertisers will want more effective, targeted advertising, and said that despite “longer conversations” with advertisers it was still seeing an increase in its “robust” advertising revenues.
“With recruitment, we’re finding that people are looking at how they can use other technology to ensure their spending is most effective,” he said, echoing a survey published on Friday by CareerBuilder.com that showed one in five employers screen job candidates through their social networking profiles.
“[The brewer] SAB Miller did not use a third-party recruiter - they used the power of their networks via LinkedIn and saved £1.2m recruiting 102 people.”
Eyres claimed that one new member signs up to the site every two seconds, adding that LinkedIn had 50% of its user base in the US and 25% in Europe.
The latest figures from comScore show that 69% of the world’s web users access a social networking site at least once a month.
Facebook is the most popular globally, with 144.8 million unique users. MySpace has 121.9 million and LinkedIn 8.7 million users globally each month.
Facebook users spend longer there than on rival sites - an average of 175 minutes a month compared with 155 minutes on MySpace and nine minutes on LinkedIn.
Despite a vast global audience, MySpace has struggled to make its $900m advertising deal with Google pay and in May this year, News Corporation admitted that the site would not hit its revenue targets for the financial year.