LinkedIn’s Journey – The First 20 Years Of The Professional Network [Timeline]
14 December 2002
The idea for a professional network is created by Reid Hoffman
Reid Hoffman, internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist, started working on his idea in November 2002, as he was interested in professional space. He hired a team of team 10 people from Socialnet and Paypal to create a professional network, called LinkedIn.
5 May 2003
LinkedIn was officially launched
The professional network was officially launched on 5 May, 2003 with a mission to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. LinkedIn’s vision is aimed at creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
The professional network reaches 1 million users
One of the greatest milestones in LinkedIn’s history was hitting 1 million users in August 2004. From then on, the platform continued to grow fast and became the leading platform for professionals to network and build relationships and find new opportunities together.
8 August 2005
LinkedIn launches Premium Service for recruiters and researchers – LinkedIn Business Accounts
LinkedIn Business Accounts provide more powerful search tools to recruiters, investment professionals, management consultants, analysts, and market researchers, addressing their need to find the right job candidates and experts quickly and efficiently.
LinkedIn Groups are created
The professional network introduces LinkedIn Groups as spaces, where professionals with similar interests or occupations can exchange knowledge, share ideas, build relationships and ask for advice. Users can both create and participate in groups, which can be private or public.
5 February 2007
LinkedIn Reaches 10 million users
Less than 4 years after its official launch, LinkedIn reached the staggering number of users of 10 million! The news was introduced together with the change in the management team – Reid Hoffman stepped off as a CEO and Dan Nye took his position. By the way, 4 more years later – in June 2011, LinkedIn reached 10 million members only in India.
LinkedIn introduced its mobile version
LinkedIn launched its free mobile service in 6 languages – Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. This advancement gave the approx. 19 million member then to connect easier and the addition of languages enabled the growth of the network outside the USA.
21 March 2008
LinkedIn creates Company Pages under the name Company Profiles
Companies finally found a place in the professional network. What now is known as LinkedIn Page. Back then there were 20 million professional profiles on LinkedIn and it was high time companies had their pages. The Company Profiles combined LinkedIn network information with a company’s description, key industry statistics, and targeted job listings.
15 September 2008
Targeted advertising campaigns are rolled out
The opportunity to advertise on LinkedIn was introduced for the first time. The professional network joined the ad network Collective Media to create the LinkedIn Audience Network, which let advertisers target specific sections of LinkedIn users – called the InCrowds.
7 November 2008
LinkedIn Events were first announced
A new era has begun – LinkedIn Events were made available and anybody who was excited to search for a suitable event, could do it through their Events browse page. There one could find info about events based on speakers, topics, conference organizer, etc. This was a partnership with Eventbrite – a leading provider of online event management and ticketing services.
17 December 2008
LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman Returns as CEO
LinkedIn’s founder, Reid Hoffman, was appointed as the new CEO following the resignation of Dan Nye. Jeff Weiner served Interim President while remaining in his role at Accel Partners and Greylock Partners.
27 June 2009
Jeff Weiner became CEO and President of LinkedIn
Jeff Weiner was named as the new CEO of LinkedIn, while founder Reid Hoffman remained as executive chairman. Weiner had played a vital role in the company’s growth, with LinkedIn exceeding 42 million global members at the time and becoming profitable.
10 March 2011
LinkedIn Today was launched
Later it became the backbone of LinkedIn Articles, especially after the acquisition of Pulse in April 2013.
LinkedIn reached 100 million users
This major milestone in LinkedIn’s development was announced by the professional network’s CEO Jeff Weiner.
19 May 2011
LinkedIn IPOs and trades its first shares under the NYSE symbol „LNKD“, at $45 per share
3 May 2012
LinkedIn announced the acquisition of SlideShare
LinkedIn acquired the presentation sharing startup SlideShare for $118.75 million in cash and stock. The core idea was to help professionals share presentations and connect people through content.
2 October 2012
The first LinkedIn influencer programme was launched
LinkedIn’s team was insightful enough to give rise to the trend individuals to be interested in leaders from certain sectors. After the launch of the first influencers programme, LinkedIn members could follow certain key figures from a variety of industries, who were broadcasting their news, blog posts and more across the network.
9 April 2015
LinkedIn acquired lynda.com
The professional network reaffirmed its intention to put a focus on the learning process as a prerequisite for success in any sphere. Its acquirement of lynda.com, a leading online learning company teaching business, technology and creative skills, was an important step towards offering a massive library of high-quality courses.
LinkedIn Reaches 500 million users
This milestone meant that members from 200 countries represented 10+ million active jobs, 9+ million companies, and more than 100,000 articles published every week.
8 December 2016
Microsoft completed its acquisition of LinkedIn
Microsoft’s $26.2-billion acquisition of LinkedIn was one of the most famous win-win tech deal of the century. LinkedIn got the opportunity to integrate with Microsoft’s enterprise software and Microsoft could now reach LinkedIn’s massive user base.
The professional network relaunched LinkedIn Events
LinkedIn continued to develop its Events, giving members more and more opportunities to explore new possibilities. Since the relaunch members were able to seamlessly create and join professional events, invite their connections, have conversations with other attendees, and stay in touch online after the event ends.
1 June 2020
Ryan Roslansky became the CEO of LinkedIn
The previous vice president of product development, Ryan Roslansky, became LinkedIn’s CEO. On his first day of work in the new position, Roslansky released a letter to the company’s employees with several key messages. These included the importance of LinkedIn remaining a leader in innovation in the labor market, working as one big body to address pandemic threats and growing racism in the US, and pushing for a faster pace of innovation within the company.
LinkedIn introduces Creator Mode
LinkedIn continued to help content creators get more visibility and engagement. With the new Creator Mode switched on, members could add hashtags to indicate what topics they post about most on the platform. Featured and Activity sections are moved to the top of one’s Profile and the “Connect” button changes to “Follow”. This helps creators grow their audience on the platform and engage with the most interested members.
LinkedIn introduces Newsletters
LinkedIn gave its members the chance to provide regular news about their expertise to their followers with Newsletters. The feature was available only for individuals then.
LinkedIn introduces Newsletters for Pages
After the great success of newsletters for individuals it was time for LinkedIn to make it even better. Therefore, LinkedIn Pages got access to this feature, as long as they have at least 150 followers. Working as an email marketing tool, the newsletters for pages prove to be a great addition to the arsenal of tools companies have on the professional network.
LinkedIn reaches 900 mln members
So close to a 4-digit number of followers… The professional network announced that its 900 mln members span across 200 countries and regions worldwide.
5 May 2023
LI Celebrates 20th Anniversary with 930 million registered users
Happy birthday, LinkedIn! The professional network greets its 20th anniversary with 930 mln users across 200 countries and regions worldwide.