LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking platform, has hit a major milestone of 1 billion members. The Microsoft-owned platform also announced new artificial intelligence (AI) features to help job seekers find and land jobs. However, these new AI tools will only be available to paying members.
Reaching the billion-user benchmark firmly places LinkedIn among the elite social media networks, competing with the likes of Meta Platform, where users craft detailed profiles showcasing their educational background, work history, and professional expertise.
The news comes just two weeks after LinkedIn cut nearly 700 jobs in the second round of layoffs, which affected employees mostly in its finance, engineering, and talent departments. The job reduction accounts for approximately 3% of the company’s workforce, which surpasses 20,000 employees.
Aside from the AI additions, LinkedIn is also marking its 1 billion-member milestone with a new initiative dubbed “In It Together.” This campaign focuses on the strength of connections and community in assisting individuals in reaching their objectives.
Among the new features is an AI job coach. This tool offers personalized feedback to job seekers on their profiles, resumes, and cover letters. Additionally, it aids in recognizing suitable job opportunities aligned with their qualifications.
Approximately 80% of LinkedIn’s recent sign-ups are from outside the United States, highlighting its global reach.
LinkedIn provides a free membership tier but also offers subscription options starting at $30 per month. Those opting for the $40-a-month tier will access the new AI features. These features can evaluate a user’s suitability for a job based on their profile, providing valuable insights while sifting through numerous job postings. Furthermore, the system can suggest profile enhancements to bolster a user’s competitiveness in job applications.
The tool is designed to shift users from simply browsing jobs and feeling uncertain to making substantial progress in just one session, leading to more meaningful interactions. Tomer Cohen, LinkedIn’s chief product officer, explained this in an interview.
In a further move, LinkedIn introduced a feature that condenses lengthy posts into concise bullet points tailored to each user. For instance, a sales professional might receive a different summary than a stockbroker, customized to their respective needs.
LinkedIn was founded in December 2002 by Reid Hoffman and a team of former colleagues from PayPal and Socialnet.com. The company was later acquired by Microsoft on December 8, 2016, for $26.2 billion. At the time, it was the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s history and one of the largest technology acquisitions of all time.
Reid Hoffman is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. He is also the co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of LinkedIn. Hoffman is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Oxford. He has also served as a board member of Mozilla Corporation and eBay.