THE professional social network Linkedin has released an iPad app in an effort to encourage more users to engage with the service.
Writing on the Linkedin blog, Manish Sharma, Linkedin’s product manager, said the app aims “to provide the most engaging experience for iPad users.”
The app is designed to be a personal assistant, with features such as calendar integration and a focus on Linkedin’s personalised news feed, which shows what news articles are popular among friends.
“Our mobile platform is the fastest growing consumer service on Linkedin. We aspire to be the place where every professional comes throughout the day,” Sharma wrote, suggesting an drive to encourage people to use the service more often.
Although Linkedin’s 150 million members make it one of the world's most popular social networks, only a third of users check the website every day. In comparison, more than half of Facebook members use the site daily.
A straw poll on Twitter revealed that many Linkedin members rarely engage with the service. One user said: “All I do on it is accept link requests, besides that nothing!” A student said “Lecturers recommended we set one up” but added “I’ve only added friends to my Linkedin.”
Ian Fogg, an analyst at Screen Digest, says the launch of the iPad app is an attempt to change this by increasing engagement.
“The biggest strategy is about making Linkedin more personal. The iPad is a very personal product which is very important to a social network like Linkedin,” he said.
“There is a bunch of things that Linkedin is doing to drive usage and adoption,” Fogg said, citing last year’s addition of the social news reader and Twitter integration on the website.
Although it more than doubled its revenue last year, Linkedin's profits fell year-on-year, and its advertising income rose slower than from other sources. It now makes half of its money through selling its services to recruitment companies, who can post job listings and search for talent.
Linkedin introduced advertising on its mobile apps earlier this year. Encouraging greater use of the service, including via the iPad app, suggests an attempt to diversify its income by increasing advertising revenue.