SAN FRANCISCO -- LinkedIn has approximately 135 million members now, but some people still question the use cases and the value for a professional social network.
Deep Nishar, senior vice president of products and user experience at LinkedIn, explained at the GigaOM NetWork 2011 summit on Thursday morning that while platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are useful for personal social and broadcast media purposes, he reasserted LinkedIn's place for keeping tabs on professional contacts.
"Our mission is to connect the world's professionals and make them more productive," Nishar affirmed.
Nishar added that as LinkedIn grows, the company is finding that more and more people are becoming part of a "global talent marketplace," and that users are becoming "entrepreneurs of their own lives." Nishar clarified that this doesn't mean that users are starting their own businesses, but rather building their own brands and taking charge of their own destinies in this "new talent economy."
Growing at a rate of two new members every second, Nishar also cited comScore results that LinkedIn has 80 to 83 million unique visitors every month worldwide.
Nishar outlined three key steps that he advises LinkedIn users to follow to being successful in this kind of social environment:
- You have to establish a professional identity and build a network.
- You need to be in the know and great at what you do. (Here, Nishar pointed towards spending 15 minutes on LinkedIn's news feed each day to find out what's going on with people in your respective industry.)
- You need to be mobile.
"When you combine all three value propositions, we do find users coming back to LinkedIn," Nishar said.
However, funny enough, LinkedIn does not have an iPad app, which was immediately pointed out by one audience member who said that he was "infuriated" that there isn't support for "one of the most important devices in the world."
Nishar replied that he is a big proponent of mobile use, noting that 12 percent of LinkedIn's weekly unique visits come from mobile devices.
However, he did assert that the HTML user experience is "actually very good." So is LinkedIn shunning an iPad app in favor of HTML5? Nishar said simply that he couldn't "confirm or deny" any iPad app plans.