Social Media and Social Networking

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LinkedIn Goes “Multi-linguistic”

Posted by Vaibhav Kalamdani on February 4, 2009

linkedin-logoProfessional networking giant LinkedIn is on an expansion drive despite the gloomy economic situation. The pioneer of business-oriented social networking has announced a German version of its site “LinkedIn auf Deutsch”; clearly indicating that it intends to become the globe’s local social network.

As far as the European market is concerned, LinkedIn already has more than 9 million registered users, generating a need to offer more and more European languages. It was just last year that LinkedIn introduced Spanish and French versions of its site to set up a base for its international expansion.

The growth recorded by each of the versions was significant as Spain added whopping 200,000 users in just 2 months time, while France performed even better at 700,000. Though LinkedIn is quite successful in Germany with its existing 500,000 member-base, it plans to attract more users to encourage domestic connectivity amongst professionals. Out of the total German-based LinkedIn users, around 80% connect outside the country using English as the medium of communication. In other words, most of these members use LinkedIn to deal internationally rather than domestically.

By focusing exclusively on the German market, it means that LinkedIn will have to compete against already established players such as Xing, which is the leading business social network in the region.

Although LinkedIn has not recorded growth as significant as Facebook across various territories, it is still growing enormously in terms of user acquisition. For example, LinkedIn adds a new member every second to its global network according to Kevin Eyres, Managing Director at LinkedIn (EU).

LinkedIn believes that year 2009 will focus around international competition, one of the primary reasons behind LinkedIn’s multilingual approach. A localization strategy can work wonders for the company if it is able to multiply its subscriber-base and promote domestic activity amongst them.

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