LinkedIn praises top influencers, starting with Sir Richard Branson

LinkedIn declares it has hit a "milestone" as Sir Richard Branson becomes the first "influencer" to have more than a million followers.


LinkedIn is shining the spotlight on some of its more famous users with the announcement that Sir Richard Branson is the first "influencer" to surpass one million followers.

See also: Sir Richard Branson dishes business advice at Dreamforce '12

LinkedIn executive editor Dan Roth declared as a "milestone" for the professional social network in a blog post on Friday. Roth highlighted that a lot of the social media platform's original conent (an evolving focus for LinkedIn these days) comes from these influencers, such as Branson.

Articles like IDEO CEO Tim Brown’s look at designing vs planning a life or former Citi honcho Sallie Krawcheck’s lessons from being fired are generating hundreds of comments from our professional community almost as soon as they are posted. Many more pieces regularly get circulated through social and traditional media.

Professionals from around the world are coming to LinkedIn to read, share, and exchange business insights directly with our influencers and with each other. And we are just getting started: Every week we add new Influencers that you can follow. That means more knowledge and inspiration from some of the world’s most powerful and influential leaders.

For reference, at the time of publishing, Branson had 1,010,023 followers on LinkedIn.

Some of the other top influencers on LinkedIn include President Barack Obama (506,899 followers), Arianna Huffington (170,296 followers), and even LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner (162,750 followers).

To celebrate the 1-million follower mark, LinkedIn will be doing an in-person Q&A with Branson next Friday, December 7 using member questions. Members can suggest questions for Branson in the comments section on Roth's post or tweet questions to @LinkedIn using the hashtag "#Branson1m."

Here's the complete and current list of LinkedIn influencers and where they stand on the leaderboard.