Partners, Platforms, and Data

An Interview with Bob Rosin from LinkedIn

Bob Rosin and Chris Moody

Bob Rosin is Vice President of Business Development for LinkedIn where he leads partnerships and platform for the company worldwide. Bob described that at its core, LinkedIn is about economic opportunity. This big vision is no easy feat, but LinkedIn is keen to tackle this challenge and is achieving success through connecting all of the world’s professionals.

Content is King

LinkedIn has proven to have a solid business model through a wide range of deals from large-scale programs, inShare buttons on websites, API programs, and partnerships. LinkedIn has three major revenue streams, recruiting accounts for 61% of the business, with marketing solutions and premium subscriptions equally accounting for the remainder. Advertising for the company is substantial and growing fast. The tech giant is quickly learning that content is king when is comes to fostering a healthy business. With LinkedIn representing the largest professional network in the world, individuals are looking to establish themselves as thought leaders. To grow their presence as a publishing platform, LinkedIn recruited 500 influential people and gave them a badge so that they could essentially blog in their area of expertise. This experiment was extraordinarily successful and has since been opened up to an additional 250 million influential members. Bob mentioned that the ability to place ads within these long format articles targeting niche audiences has proven to be very powerful.

From a metrics perspective, LinkedIn is moving away from measuring page views and is moving towards refocusing their product teams on measuring the value they are delivering to the member or customer.

You’re Hired

 If you are coming to LinkedIn to look for a job, you are not alone, and LinkedIn is rooting for you to convert at a rapid pace. Bob said, “If you come to LinkedIn looking for a job and you have to login every day for six months, that is a failure.”

Once LinkedIn has received a signal that a member is seeking a job, they can track how long they have been searching on the platform and track if that member was hired through various integrations. Through the acquisition of Lynda.com, LinkedIn is fulfilling their pledge to shorten your job search by closing the gap between what skills a member possesses and what skills are actually required to obtain a desired role. Based on gaps that exist, LinkedIn will recommend courses from Lynda.com to equip the member with the skills needed to hear the words, “You’re hired!”

Access to LinkedIn Data

About five years ago, multiple social platforms opened up their APIs and LinkedIn followed suit. They wanted to understand what the applications were for using LinkedIn’s data and it turned out that there were specific use cases that were beneficial to the business but they were outnumbered by use cases that were competitive or harmful to the platform and their users. To address these concerns, LinkedIn made significant changes to their Terms Of Service that were imperative to protect the company and their members. As an example, Bob described one of the biggest misconceptions being around ownership of the data on LinkedIn. He states, “People come with the notion that you can buy LinkedIn’s data, but it is not our data, it is our users data and we have to be careful with this personal information.” Now, LinkedIn’s APIs that are readily available are only the ones that the company is comfortable promoting. For use cases that fall outside of this realm of comfortability, LinkedIn has put a team in place to evaluate opportunities at determine if the company will grant more sensitive API access or not.

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