Microsoft has shared its latest performance update, which also includes the latest info on LinkedIn’s status, and how it’s growing amid the shifting, post-COVID job market.
And it seems that LinkedIn is faring pretty well, with Microsoft reporting a 34% YoY increase in LinkedIn revenue to $3.44 billion, while it’s also continuing to see ‘record levels’ of user engagement.
As you can see, active LinkedIn sessions grew 22% in the quarter, underlining its steady rise, while Microsoft has reported ‘record levels’ of engagement growth in the app for eight straight quarters.
Interesting, too, that LinkedIn saw 22% sessions growth, the exact same amount it saw in LinkedIn’s previous report.
Microsoft hasn’t shared any specific info on total LinkedIn members (not users), which currently sits at 810 million members.
Not sure China should still be on there, considering that LinkedIn removed its main app from China late last year, but it may still be including users of its replacement ‘InJobs’ app.
Microsoft says that LinkedIn’s revenue strength comes on the back of increased demand for its Talent Solutions offerings, in line with a strong job market, while Marketing Solutions is also performing well as more businesses look to tap into that increased engagement.
A big focus for LinkedIn this quarter has been adding more tools to help creators and soloprenuers maximize their opportunities, especially leading into the post-pandemic phase. ‘The Great Reshuffle’, as LinkedIn has dubbed it, which has been accelerated by the work from home shift, provides new opportunities for LinkedIn to act as a connective platform, enabling users to showcase their professional capabilities, while also helping employers find better matches for their open roles through its evolving HR tools.
LinkedIn also recently launched a new ‘Career Pathfinder’ tool which highlights in-demand skills and training opportunities, connecting LinkedIn’s unmatched professional insights with its LinkedIn Learning training tools.
There’s big opportunity within this new shift for LinkedIn to become the essential platform for career advancement, while these new tools also ensure a steady flow of unique content, feeding into that ongoing engagement growth.
The backing of Microsoft has seen LinkedIn go from strength to strength, with its parent company largely letting LinkedIn grow and develop, without forcing it into its existing product suite, other than through integrations into its various Office products.
Indeed, Microsoft has enabled users of Outlook, SharePoint, OneDrive, and most recently Teams to merge their LinkedIn data into their in-app experience, providing more context and insight within email exchanges and meetings. In the back-end, Microsoft is no doubt also utilizing LinkedIn insight to maximize its own marketing and promotional efforts, but for users, the merger of the two platforms has not been overwhelming, which has provided more room for LinkedIn to focus its core elements, and build upon its opportunities.
Which is clearly working, and with more users comes more interest from advertisers, helping to further boost LinkedIn’s revenue growth.
The next opportunities, then, likely focus on the same areas, with improved integration of live-stream events, and tools that will enable new types of expression for creators. LinkedIn Stories didn’t stick, but you can expect other video tools to be in the works, along with newsletters and additional subscription options, to assist in professional development and boost in-app engagement.
It may not be the top choice for marketers, but the stats speak for themselves – and if you’re looking to reach consumers in these areas, LinkedIn could offer big opportunities, beyond just the B2B reach that it’s known for.
Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots
Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.
According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.
Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.
And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.
Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.
In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:
- Total user tweets (within a given time period)
- Data on which devices were used
As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.
It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:
- Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
- Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
- Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
- Date, time, location, device info
That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.
I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.
But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.
Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).
According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.
Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.
The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.
Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.
Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.
It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.
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