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LinkedIn Continues to see ‘Record Levels’ of Engagement, Sales Solutions Reaches $1 billion in Revenue

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Another quarter, and another report of ‘record engagement’ on LinkedIn, as per parent company Microsoft’s latest performance update.

As you can see here, LinkedIn posted strong results for the quarter, with overall revenue up 36%, driven by increased demand for LinkedIn ads and a resurgence in the job market.

As explained by Microsoft:

We are experiencing a “Great Reshuffle” across the labor market, as more people in more places than ever rethink how, where, and why they work. In this new economy, LinkedIn has become mission critical to connect creators with their communities, job seekers with employers, learners with skills, and sellers with buyers.”

Indeed, amid the evolving employment landscape, LinkedIn is well-placed to win out, by providing new opportunities for people to showcase their skills, and find new positions, as industries slowly get back to regular operating capacity.

And we still have a way to go on this front, with the pandemic still causing widespread disruption in many sectors. While some people have been able to shift career focus, others remain on the sidelines, and that’ll continue to present new opportunities for LinkedIn as the situation unfolds.

In addition to this, LinkedIn has also reported that its Sales Solutions business, led by its Sales Navigator platform, which now has over a million paying users, reached $1 billion in revenue for the year, the first time it’s reached that milestone. That points to the rising value of LinkedIn for marketers, with the added insights and management tools of Sales Navigator facilitating more opportunities.

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In terms of general platform usage, Microsoft says that LinkedIn events are also on the rise, with the platform now seeing more than 24,000 events created, and 1.5 million RSVPs, every week.

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LinkedIn recently added new tools for its on-platform events, including audio rooms, with group video streams also on the way.

LinkedIn video events

On another front, LinkedIn’s Service Marketplace has also helped connect nearly 3 million freelancers and small businesses to new opportunities,

While it doesn’t get as much media attention as other social apps, LinkedIn has continued to expand, and grow under Microsoft’s ownership.

Back in 2016, when Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, the professional social network had around 430 million members, which it’s now almost doubled, with more than 810 million people now signed up to the app.

LinkedIn members

Of course, ‘members’ and ‘active users’ are not the same thing, and you do have to also remove China from these calculations, after LinkedIn pulled its main app out of the region last year due to rising regulatory pressure and related concerns.

But even with those provisos in mind, LinkedIn is clearly still on the rise. And again, as more people seek out new opportunities in the new world of work, and more professionals look to connect, in more ways, there are plenty of indicators to suggest that LinkedIn will indeed continue to grow and expand on its current usage.

If you haven’t considered LinkedIn for your marketing, it could be worth another look – and while it won’t be for everyone, there are opportunities in the platform’s various tools and options.



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‘Crime not to help’: South Korean ex-SEAL has no Ukraine regrets

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South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber Ken Rhee told AFP he has no regrets about his decision to fight in Ukraine

South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber Ken Rhee told AFP he has no regrets about his decision to fight in Ukraine – Copyright AFP Jung Yeon-je

Cat Barton and Kang Jin-kyu

A former South Korean Navy SEAL turned YouTuber who risked jail time to leave Seoul and fight for Ukraine says it would have been a “crime” not to use his skills to help.

Ken Rhee, an ex-special warfare officer, signed up at the Ukrainian Embassy in Seoul the moment President Volodymyr Zelensky asked for global volunteers and was fighting on the front lines near Kyiv by early March.

To get there, he had to break South Korean law — Seoul banned its citizens from travelling to Ukraine, and Rhee, who was injured in a fall while leading a special operations patrol there, was met at the airport by 15 police officers on his return.

But the celebrity ex-soldier, who has a YouTube channel with 700,000 followers and documented much of his Ukraine experience on his popular Instagram account, says he has no regrets.

“You’re walking down the beach and you see a sign by the water saying ‘no swimming’ — but you see someone drowning. It’s a crime not to help. That’s how I see it,” he told AFP.

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Rhee was born in South Korea but raised in the United States. He attended the Virginia Military Institute and planned to join the US Navy SEALS, but his father — a “patriot”, he says — convinced his son to return to South Korea to enlist.

He served for seven years, undergoing both US and Korean SEAL training and doing multiple stints in war zones in Somalia and Iraq before leaving to set up a defence consultancy.

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“I have the skillset. I have the experience. I was in two different wars, and going to Ukraine, I knew I could help,” he said, adding that he viewed breaking South Korea’s passport law to leave as equivalent to a “traffic violation”.

– Backlash in Korea –

But the reaction in South Korea — where Rhee shot to fame as a trainer in the popular YouTube series “Fake Men” — was swift and unforgiving.

“It was instant. People in Korea, they just criticised me about breaking the law,” said Rhee.

His critics claim the 38-year-old’s decision was criminally irresponsible, and point to his posting of war footage on his YouTube and Instagram accounts as evidence of showboating.

Rhee says he tries not to let the furore get to him. “I think it’s pretty obvious who the good guys are and who the bad guys are,” he said of Russia and Ukraine. 

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On his first day on the frontline in Irpin — which he describes as “the Wild West” and “chaos” — he says he witnessed Russian war crimes.

“I saw a civilian get shot. He was driving… and they shot him through the windshield and he died in front of us,” he said.

“It was like: there’s my proof. There’s definitely war crimes going on. It reminded me and my teammates what we were doing and why we were there,” he said.

Because of his military training, Rhee was told to set up his own team, so he recruited other volunteers with combat experience and set up a multi-national special operations group.

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“I was eating Canadian MREs. My gun was from the Czech Republic. I have a Javelin missile from the United States. I have a rocket that’s from Germany… but nothing is Korean,” he said.

He tried to take his Korean-made night vision goggles but was not given government export permission. Seoul has provided non-lethal aid to Kyiv, but Rhee said they could do more.

“Korea has state-of-the-art equipment… they’re very good at making weapons,” he said.

– ‘See you in Taiwan’ –

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Russia said this week that 13 South Koreans had travelled to Ukraine — including four who were killed. Seoul said it was trying to verify the claims.

Although Rhee did not know the fate of all his teammates, he said “a lot of my friends have died”.

“I don’t want my friends’ sacrifices to be forgotten,” he said, adding that he plans to write a book — and maybe a screenplay — about his team’s experiences.

But first, he needs to deal with the official repercussions of his trip. He is quietly optimistic South Korea’s new conservative administration won’t put him in jail.

Rhee is not allowed to leave the country until his case is resolved, and is receiving treatment for his injuries. But he hopes one day to fight alongside his teammates again, for a cause they believe in.

The joke as people left the frontline was: “See you in Taiwan,” he said, referring darkly to the risk that Beijing will follow Moscow’s lead and invade a neighbouring democracy.

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