Timeline of LinkedIn

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This is a timeline of online work-focused networking service LinkedIn.


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Time periodKey developments at LinkedIn
2002–2010LinkedIn is founded, introduces premium services for generating revenues, achieves profitability in 2006 (being the first major social network/Web 2.0 enterprise to do so), becomes the most popular site for work-based networking, and acquires its first startups. It reaches 70 million users by June 2010. [1]
2011–2016LinkedIn goes IPO, reaches beyond 100 million users, and expands more aggressively internationally. It reaches 300 million members in 2013, and 400 million in 2016. LinkedIn gets acquired by Microsoft in June 2016. [2]

Full timeline

YearMonth and dateEvent typeDetails
2002December 14CompanyLinkedIn is founded by Reid Hoffman and 4 other friends. [1]
2003May 5Company LinkedIn cofounders send invitations, launching LinkedIn. [1]
2004MayCompetition Viadeo – a social networking site for business owners, entrepreneurs and managers – is launched in France. [3]
2004AugustGrowthLinkedIn reaches 1 million users. [1]
2005JulyProductLinkedIn launches LinkedIn for Groups, a premium service aimed at power users like recruiters, analysts and researchers. [4]
2005AugustProductLinkedIn launches a premium service, LinkedIn Business Accounts, which gives businesses access to more powerful search tools. [5]
2006MarchCompanyLinkedIn achieves its first month of profitability. [1]
2007FebruaryTeam Dan Nye becomes CEO of LinkedIn, and Reid Hoffman moves from CEO to chairman and president. [1]
2007AprilGrowthLinkedIn reaches 10 million users. [1]
2007MayProductLinkedIn launches "who's been viewing your profile" feature. [6]
2008FebruaryProductLinkedIn launches a mobile version of the site. [7]
2008AprilProductLinkedIn launches the "People You May Know" feature. [8]
2008JuneFunding Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and other venture capital firms purchase a 5% stake in the company for $53 million, giving the company a post-money valuation of approximately $1 billion. [9]
2008SeptemberProductLinkedIn launches targeted advertising - allowing advertisers to target specific sections of LinkedIn users (InCrowds) based on the information in their profiles. [10]
2008OctoberProductLinkedIn enables an "applications platform" that allows other online services to be embedded within a member's profile page. Among the initial applications are an Amazon Reading List that allows LinkedIn members to display books they are reading, a connection to Tripit, and a Six Apart, WordPress and TypePad application that allows members to display their latest blog postings within their LinkedIn profile. [11]
2009DecemberInternationalizationLinkedIn opens office in India, and says that 50% of its userbase is now international. [12]
2010MarchInternationalizationLinkedIn opens an International Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. [13]
2010JulyFundingLinkedIn receives a $20 million investment from Tiger Global Management LLC at a valuation of approximately $2 billion. [14]
2010August 4AcquisitionsLinkedIn announces its first acquisition, mSpoke, for its "adaptive personalization engine". [15] The acquisition was for $0.6 million. [16] [17]
2010September 23AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires ChoiceVendor, a business-to-business review service, for $3.9 million. [18] [19]
2011January 26AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires CardMunch, a business card scanning application, for $1.7 million. [20] [16] The service would shut down in 2014 and users would be forced to migrate to Evernote. [21]
2011May 19CompanyLinkedIn IPOs and trades its first shares under the NYSE symbol "LNKD", at $45 per share. [1]
2011JulyProductLinkedIn launches a new feature allowing companies to include an "Apply with LinkedIn" button on job listing pages. [22] The new plugin will allow potential employees to apply for positions using their LinkedIn profiles as resumes. All applications will also be saved under a "Saved Jobs" tab. [22]
2011October 5AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires Connected, a social customer relationship management service. [23]
2011October 11AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires IndexTank, a social search service. [24]
2012February 22AcquisitionsLinkedIn announces that it will acquire Rapportive, a Gmail plugin that shows people the social media profiles from whoever they're corresponding with on Gmail. [25]
2012May 3AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires SlideShare for $119 million. SlideShare is a web service that allows people to upload presentations and share them with everyone. [26] [27]
2012JuneCompanyLinkedIn falls victim to a hacking attempt that resulted in 6.5 million hashed passwords reportedly leaked - revealing that LinkedIn does not use password salting. [28] [29] In 2016, the company reveals that the breach was far greater than originally thought. [30]
2012SeptemberProductLinkedIn starts allowing users to endorse each other's skills. [31]
2012OctoberProductLinkedIn launches the "Influencer" program, allowing selected "thought leaders" (their term) to share original content directly with LinkedIn users. [32]
2013JanuaryCompetitionTalentBin launches. It is a "search engine" for talented people that picks up their digital tracks (on sites like Stack Exchange) to sell to recruiters. [33]
2013July 23ProductLinkedIn announces their Sponsored Updates ad service. Individuals and companies can now pay a fee to have LinkedIn sponsor their content and spread it to their user base. This is a common way for social media sites such as LinkedIn to generate revenue. [34]
2013April 11AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires Pulse, a popular newsreader for the web and mobile, for $90 million. [35]
2013SeptemberLegalA class action lawsuit is filed against LinkedIn, accusing it of automatically sending invitations to contacts in a user's email address book without permission. The court agreed with LinkedIn that permission had in fact been given for invitations to be sent, but not for the two further reminder emails. [36]
2014February 6AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires Bright.com, a job matching website, for $120 million. [37]
2014AprilInternationalizationLinkedIn launches a new Chinese website in the Chinese language. [38]
2014AprilCompanyLinkedIn leases 222 Second Street, a 26-story building under construction in San Francisco's SoMa district, to accommodate up to 2,500 of its employees[ citation needed ]
2014July 14AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires Newsle, a service that allows users to follow real news about their Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, and public figures. [39]
2014July 22AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires Bizo, a web application that helps advertisers reach businesses and professionals, for $175 million. [40]
2015January 14CompetitionFacebook announces launch of Facebook at Work, which allows businesses to create their own social networks amongst their employees that are built to look and act like Facebook itself. [41]
2015FebruaryLegalLinkedIn settles a class action lawsuit, compensating up to 800,000 people who paid for its premium services who alleged that it falsely assured them it was using strong security measures to protect their personal information. [42]
2015March 16AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires Careerify, a web application that helps businesses hire people using social media. [43]
2015April 2AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires Refresh.io, a web application that provides insights about people in one's networks right before one meets them. [44]
2015April 9AcquisitionsIn its largest acquisition to date ($1.5 billion), LinkedIn announces its acquisition of Lynda.com, an eLearning platform allowing users to learn business, technology, software, and creative skills through videos. [45]
2015May 7ProductLinkedIn adds an analytics tool to its publishing platform. The tool allows authors to better track traffic that their posts receive. [46]
2015August 28AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires Fliptop, a predictive sales and marketing firm that uses data science to help companies close more sales. [47]
2015OctoberProductLinkedIn introduces new mobile app, codenamed "Project Voyager", making the design more intuitive. [48]
2016February 4AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires Connectifier, a web application that helps companies with their recruiting. [49]
2016FebruaryCompanyLinkedIn's shares drop 43.6% within a single day following an earnings report, down to $108.38 per share. LinkedIn loses $10 billion of its market capitalization that day. [50] [51]
2016June 13AcquisitionsMicrosoft announces the acquisition of LinkedIn at $26.2 billion ($60 per user). [52] [53] [54] The acquisition would be completed on December 8, 2016. [55] The transaction would result in the payment of approximately $26.4 billion in cash merger consideration. [56]
2016July 26AcquisitionsLinkedIn acquires PointDrive, a web application that lets salespeople share visual content with prospective clients to help seal the deal. [57]
2016September 12ProductLinkedIn unveils three new products that it will roll out in India: (1) LinkedIn Lite, a smaller version of the mobile website for people with slower internet connections; (2) LinkedIn Placements, an online screening test intended for students to take; and (3) Starter Pack, a marketing package for small and mid-sized businesses. [58] [59] [60]
2016September 22ProductLinkedIn launches LinkedIn Learning. The new website caters both to employees seeking career advancement as well as employers wishing to train their employees. A large part of the content is from Lynda, which LinkedIn had acquired in April 2015. [61] [62] [63] [64]
2016October 6ProductLinkedIn launches Open Candidates, a feature that allows users to signal to recruiters that they are looking for a job. The feature allows only those recruiters using LinkedIn's premium-tier service to see whether a user is using Open Candidates. [65]
2016November 17InternationalizationLinkedIn begins to be blocked in Russia due to a law in Russia that requires online services to store personal data of Russian citizens on Russian servers. LinkedIn remains accessible in Russia via virtual private networks. [66] [67] [68] At the time of the block, LinkedIn has 6 million registered users in Russia. [69]
2017January 6InternationalizationThe Russian government requires Google and Apple to remove the LinkedIn app from their Russian app stores. [70]
2017January 19ProductLinkedIn unveils its new desktop website redesign, which will roll out over several weeks. The new design is said to have "a simpler, app-like look" and be similar to the design of Facebook's desktop website. [71] [72] [73] [74]
2017February 15CompetitionIn the United States and Canada, Facebook launches a feature to search for jobs. The feature allows businesses to post job openings through the status update composer, and allows users to apply to those job postings. [75] [76] [77] [78]

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