How does LinkedIn make money?- LinkedIn business model

Who owns LinkedIn?


LinkedIn is an online platform for professional networking. It was launched on May 5th, 2003. It is for the department which comes under business and employment. So, people who want to hire someone and people who want to get hired are mainly going for LinkedIn. It is an online service because of which they can join via phone or laptop. This is an easily accessible app because of its convenience of joining in anywhere and everywhere and getting a vast amount of opportunities from whichever source possible.

LinkedIn Core has many features provided for free. It is a particular model which is also known as a freemium model, which as the name suggests is kind of free for the user. There are also some extended features in which the app takes money from the users. These users vary from the recruiters to the people who are wanting jobs from them. There are different kinds of models that LinkedIn follows. One of the most important and famous models is the LinkedIn business model which is widely known because of its success in the online era. These business models include modern and easy facilities to reach out to people across the globe. The LinkedIn business model is considered to be a successful model which benefits both parties. It is where the core features are provided for free, while the extended ones are charged. There are certain things under the LinkedIn business model which has to be kept in mind like

  • The talent solutions
  • Premium subscriptions
  • Career options
  • Business solutions
  • Marketing solution

The LinkedIn business model is also known as the freemium model.

How does LinkedIn make money?

The talent solutions

This is a part of the LinkedIn business model whereas the name suggests The recruiters and the companies finding an employee or partner for their business get the most suitable man for that purpose. So talent solutions include premium recruiting tools that help both the parties that are, the company or recruiter and the employee to find their perfect matches. LinkedIn is different from other apps or companies that help to find jobs. LinkedIn is a place where people can promote themselves personally. LinkedIn gives a platform to the individuals to grow and showcase their growth so that it would be easier for the recruiters to find who is the perfect match for them. This showcasing of personal growth is called personal branding. It is like you as an individual are putting yourself in a place where you can show your development and your interests and things like doing what excites you. 

Whichever company or the recruiters are finding a perfect partner or an employee gets a lot of help from such personal branding because it is like you get to know an individual without actually seeing them physically. One gets to know how capable they are and at what heights they can help the company, and even gives an idea on how cooperative they can be. Nobody can just randomly choose someone for their job. Getting the perfect job, and on the other hand, a perfect employee is a task, which LinkedIn makes happen, because of its talent solutions, and because this is a vast and extended feature, as said earlier LinkedIn takes money from both recruiters as well as the employees.

Premium subscription

This is another way for LinkedIn to acquire money. Apart from the basic features that LinkedIn is giving to the users, certain features are not provided or given in that. Those extended and special features are for the users who subscribe to the premium membership in LinkedIn. They have got special criteria and opportunities that the normal users do not enjoy. To get a premium membership the users have to give a specific amount of money to the app. There are even different categories of getting a premium subscription where the amount also varies along with which the features also are differentiated. Some premium subscription Packs include career, business plus, sales navigator, recruiter lite. 

All of these have different plans and also different amounts to be paid and the time is also different. The career category includes more vast opportunities for an individual to get in touch with the perfect hiring manager. There are also chances for them to compare themselves with the other applicants, and it is a place where they can get more engaged with the ideas for their careers. While the business plus is actually where it is an opportunity for the people with business to grow and learn. They get a place to explore and understand and even get contacts, and flourish their business. 

They even get skills to enhance their business quality. While the sales have a different department and even a different plan, which means the amount of money to be given in LinkedIn is different. In this, it helps to build a good relationship with the customers and prospects. In the recruiter lite plan, it is basically for the hiring community, where they get the most appropriate candidate for them. The premium subscription helps them to get the perfect candidate for them, those who top the chart, or we can say the ones who are the kind of need for their specific company. So it is understood that because of these Premium subscriptions LinkedIn earns quite a lot of money. There are, as said, a variety of plans, where the money and even the things inside it differ. So, as every individual has different needs, they can understand these different options and get through the right one for them.

Career options

When one gets upgraded to a premium account, they get a variety of choices. One of the positive areas which can be seen is the upgrading of your career. One gets a lot of opportunities to get a wider reach in what you want from your career. The career options category under the premium subscription is a really big help for an individual to grow. They get access to other applicant’s profiles so that they can compare and contrast. 

There is even an option where you can find out who all is coming up and getting access to your profile. LinkedIn also provides video courses for those who are midway through their career. It is an additional benefit for the premium members. They also get an idea of the salary insights. So, LinkedIn provides a great platform for the individuals working on their careers and looking forward to success in whatever they opt for.

Business solutions

It is the collective name given to the premium services offered by the company to all its users. Every person getting into LinkedIn has a different purpose. So, LinkedIn is also something that offers a variety of opportunities to different groups and is not concentrated on only one set of requirements. There are different needs for the people joining LinkedIn, some might want to hire perfect candidates for their company.

While some are there to seek a job, and on the other hand some are there to market things while some need to sell and need a partner for that. LinkedIn covers all these parts and takes an active role in considering all the things required to fulfill their needs. Through premium subscription, it benefits LinkedIn as well as the users opting it, because it gives a vast opportunity and gets a lot of contacts to help them connect with different parts of the society and even it allows them to get the perfect job or the perfect employee. This all happens because they can get into looking deeper into the profiles. There are many things provided inside the premium subscription thing, which is why it is said to be taken more often. 

Marketing solutions

Apart from all those premium subscription things, LinkedIn does marketing campaigns which provides them a lot of money. This is a service that contributes to over 18% of the total revenue of the company. All these features help in both ways for the company to create a company page as well as create sponsored content and stuff like those. This all basically means that through advertisement and things as such the company gets a lot of profit.

 They are even sponsored in the mail and text advertisement which gives them more benefits. If we take about the sponsored content, it is where some company who wants to give their advertisement shows up with LinkedIn and gives content with their name connected in. So, because of all this, LinkedIn gets money from the company that is sponsoring. So, it is good for both the parties as one gets their advertisement done, while the other gets money to go in with. 

Recruitment solutions

This is a space for the recruiters to get the perfect employee for them. As there might be hundreds and thousands of applicants applying, it would be a really difficult task in getting into the most qualified and wanted applicants. So under the premium subscription, there is a plan for the recruiters as well.

 By getting this they can go through different profiles and even categorize what kind of an applicant they require. There is access to smart suggestions, automatic candidate tracking, and integrated hiring. All these provide a lot of help for the recruiters. They get the perfect employee of their company after all these categorizations.

What is LinkedIn learning?

Unlike other job-seeking companies, LinkedIn again proved to be different and more caring for the users under premium subscription. Lynda is a recent acquisition by LinkedIn. It is an e-learning platform that can also be called an online course, which is beneficial to premium members. These online courses are about business, software, technology, and creative skills. These are all made in videos and uploaded in the e-learning section for the users under premium subscription. 

The company has changed its name to LinkedIn learning but the operation models were all the same. There was even something called slide share which was acquired by LinkedIn in 2013. It was a way through which people or the members of the premium subscription Gives a way to discover people through content.

 LinkedIn slide share is a platform where the users can upload contents publicly or privately according to their taste. They can do these slide shares in different forms such as PowerPoint, PDF, open document format, or keynote. The service here is provided free to everyone. So these are some kind of benefits and learning which only LinkedIn provides to their users and we can’t find it in some other job-seeking companies. That is why we can see huge growth in LinkedIn through the years. 

Why is the LinkedIn business model different?

If we compare LinkedIn with other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter it can be said that they have got more media time than LinkedIn so they have more power in the marketplace. But, LinkedIn is considered to be a platform where it helps with the potential of young people with their careers and helps them to live a better life. 

So, it can be seen that LinkedIn provides much better ideas than what Facebook and Twitter can help for a better life ahead with their careers for a younger generation especially. It is considered that LinkedIn’s business model has an upper hand over the other social networking sites because it has much more clear ideas and motives and has a good revenue model through which it can be seen that it is not entirely dependent on advertisements like the social networking platforms. 

It means that LinkedIn does not survive only on the advertisements like the other social sites who are dependent fully on their revenue model of advertisement. Moreover, in a generation where young minds are more interested in social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc., platforms like LinkedIn it’s a very helpful source for their careers to outshine among their competitors. It is considered that it is a waste of time going through social networking sites while one should be more interested in companies like LinkedIn who provide an idea about their future and clarify doubts on the career they are opting to choose.


So, as we could see that LinkedIn is not just a platform that provides jobs or helps with getting employees, it is more than that. It is not like the other companies who focus only on getting a profit and leaving as it is. LinkedIn gets money with all the business models they acquire. The premium subscription is one of the key factors through which LinkedIn gets the money. Even if they are taking money from the users they promise to fulfill all the needs told by them. They even provide a learning facility that brings up a different platform than the other Social networking sites.

 LinkedIn is a place where there are a variety of users who come from different backgrounds and need different opportunities from this platform. Some might need a job, while some need employees. LinkedIn here is to help everyone and earn money. There are even content advertisements through which LinkedIn gets some earnings. There is even a text advertisement that helps them gain more. The LinkedIn platform was not very much popular and did not see a very good growth perspective but ever since its acquisition by Microsoft the LinkedIn business model has been expanding at a greater rate than ever. Thus, we learned the ways through which Linkedin makes money and its business model.

Frequently asked questions

Q1. How much does LinkedIn make per year?

Ans. The annual revenue was more than 8.5 billion US dollars in the fiscal year 2020. While comparing from 2018 it is seen that 5.26 billion US dollars have been up. It is considered that this high growth rate is because of the acquisition of Microsoft in the year 2016. Microsoft has brought a great impact on the growth rate and the popularity rate of LinkedIn. Nowadays, almost everyone keeps a profile on LinkedIn, hoping for some wonders to happen. 

Q2. Does LinkedIn make a profit?

Ans. As said earlier, the basic membership in LinkedIn is free and that is the most popular one as well because most of them only go to the basic facilities. So there is only a minority through which LinkedIn gets profit, as they are the ones who go for the premium membership. According to some research, only 21% of its users had premium membership in the year 2016. $5.3 billion revenue was contributed in the year 2018, which can be seen as an increase of $2.3 billion in 2017. So, there is a higher growth rate that can be noticed. 

Q3. Who uses LinkedIn the most?

Ans. LinkedIn is a platform that consists of a variety of users who come for a variety of opportunities. There is not only one need that needs to be fulfilled by LinkedIn but there are so many users with so many things to be considered. Some companies or recruiters come to find people suitable for their jobs while some people come for sale, for marketing. While some of them come to find jobs which might be perfect for them or their career. So, LinkedIn doesn’t concentrate on a particular area, as it has to cover a lot of places. Through premium subscription as well, they need to take care that they are helping the customers with whatever area they are covering, to give a perfect guide. 

How does LinkedIn make money?- LinkedIn business model

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