Could Linkedin be the next big Publisher?

Once upon a time, Linkedin was known as the digital rolerdex for professionals. The platform, is currently the world’s largest professional network, on the Internet with more than 200 million members worldwide. Very little content was created and hosted originally on LinkedIn. To get users to turn to LinkedIn as a source of content, back in the day, they employed a curation strategy so they did not have to build a large publishing team.  Linkedin eventually made their foray into content, with the launch of LinkedIn Today, feeding aggregated articles from more than 1 million publications to LinkedIn’s 200 million users based on their preferences. 

This has helped Linkedin to evolve into a Powerful publishing house, in a unique position to target a diverse audience. LinkedIn Today provides our members with a quick and easy way to digest trending news gleaned from the collective wisdom of 90 million professionals – what they are reading, what they are sharing, and what they are saying,” said Deep Nishar, SVP of product and user experience at LinkedIn.

In April, Linkedin agreed to acquire Pulse (owned by Alphonso Labs, Inc.), a leading news reader and mobile content distribution platform. Pulse was founded in 2010 by Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta while they were students at Stanford University. It quickly grew to become one of the most widely used platforms for content consumption on the Internet. Pulse currently has more than 30 million users who have activated its iOS and Android-based news reader apps in more than 190 countries.

Shafqat Islam writing for thinks big publishers need to watch their backs:

“The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and other top-tier business publishers should be worried. LinkedIn is arguably the world’s largest business publication (or any publication for that matter). With a registered audience of more than 230 million, LinkedIn has more than 50 times the number of registered users as the Financial Times. LinkedIn drives around 10 billion page views per month, compared to 133 million for The Wall Street Journal. LinkedIn had 116 million unique visitors last quarter, compared to 13 million average monthly uniques for The Journal”.

Its CEO Jeff Weiner has already laid down the gauntlet, with an intent to ‘dominate new media on the web’. Speaking at Business insider’s IGNITION conference he said

“This is very much an ecosystem that’s oriented around our members,” and according to business insider  “that ecosystem involves a growing publishing platform that both generates original content via LinkedIn influencers and aggregates the biggest business news around the Web”.

LinkedIn Publisher Offerings – Full Reference Guide – January 2013 from Rohan Verma
According to the New York Times “The hope is that users grow addicted to checking their news feeds, which are adjusted to their interests. The company will also weave sponsored content into feeds; it is already testing a pilot program that includes articles and videos from Shell, Xerox and American Express, among others”.

image credit: Curata