I’ve been a long-time registered user of LinkedIn, the social network centered around your career and professional relationships, and apart from a number of frustrations (e.g. the terrible ‘Groups’ feature execution) I consider the service to be outstanding in a lot of ways.
Just having been valued over $1 billion after raising $53 million from Bain Capital Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and Bessemer Ventures, the business social network has a lot going for it. It boasts 23 million members worldwide, it’s profitable, and both revenues and user base growth figures show absolutely no sign of slowing down. But will that revenue growth continue to come only from charging for premium services and contextual advertising?
Blogger robwebb2k was the first to spot and report on a beta experiment LinkedIn is currently running, dubbed DirectAds, a dynamic CPM text advertising platform currently being soft-launched with no offical word from the company just yet.
What we can gather from the information available on the website, advertisers will be able to dynamically target ads by age, gender, geography, educational institution, industry, and seniority. Minimum order size for an advertisement is $25, with the minimum number of impressions dependant on the targeting audience chosen by the advertiser, who will conveniently be identifiable through its own LinkedIn presence. This also means the advertiser has to have a profile on the website, and LinkedIn says they are limiting advertisers by completeness of profile, number of connections, date of profile creation and a number of other factors. As Nick O’Neill at The Social Times points out, the service is reminiscent of Facebook’s Social Ads and is currently restricted to the United States.