Since Microsoft purchased LinkedIn back in 2016, the platform no longer needs to report its individual quarterly performance numbers, which means we don't get the transparency we used to around total users, engagement metrics, revenue stats, etc.
But we do get some insights. As part of Microsoft's Q1 '19 results, which it reported earlier this week, the tech giant noted that:
"LinkedIn revenue increased 33% (up 33% in constant currency) with record levels of engagement highlighted by LinkedIn sessions growth of 34%"
That's interesting, right? Combine that with LinkedIn reporting that it hit 575 million members back in August and it seems safe to say that things are going well for the professional social network since the acquisition.
The usual knock on LinkedIn is that while it may have 575 million members, only a small fraction of them are active on a regular basis - previous research has suggested that LinkedIn had around 250 million MAU when it was on 500 million members, while other analysis has suggested that the platform's active usage rate is only around 25% of LinkedIn members at any given time.
But if engagement on the platform is at 'record levels' as Microsoft notes, with a huge 34% increase in sessions, those figures may now look somewhat different. And maybe, if you haven't considered it before, it could be time to take LinkedIn more seriously within your digital marketing mix.
LinkedIn has actually reported engagement increases even higher than this. Earlier this month, in a post about improving its feed algorithm, LinkedIn noted that:
"More and more people are using the feed and giving feedback to their network’s posts: our members generate tens of millions of viral actions (likes, comments, and reshares), and the number is increasing more than 50% YoY"
LinkedIn does note, however, that the vast majority of those engagement actions occur on a tiny fraction of posts from top users, which it's now trying to correct by re-distributing a wider range of user content within feeds. But either way, it's worth noting - the numbers suggest that more activity is happening on LinkedIn - more than previous, and likely much more than most would expect.
We don't have the specifics, we can't see the actual DAU numbers and usage stats. But the insights we can glean are interesting.
Worth noting in your 2019 planning.