India definitely has a big chunk of the social networking site users but that’s got a lot to do with the sheer population size and rapid growth in accessing the web. But India is LinkedIn’s second biggest user on the globe. While it ranks pretty high on the usage for both Facebook and twitter, the gap with the global social-web user, the US is significantly lesser on LinkedIn. ‘Significantly less’ meaning behind only by about 50 million users.
While that number is undeniably gigantic, it doesn’t do away with the fact that LinkedIn has been terribly successful in the Indian market. India is Facebook’s 3rd largest market, despite the large number of online population. So what makes LinkedIn special, even though it is targeting only a certain segment of the population?
The poll was conducted to analyze what makes Indians choose LinkedIn. The question was: Why is India the second biggest market for LinkedIn? The voters were asked to pick out an option from pre-listed reasons. The four responses to choose from were:
• Professional references matter in India
• Employees are professionally unsettled
• Large professional population
The response was favourable towards the first and the third options. 42% of the voters picked that “professional references in India matter” whereas a 38% picked the “large professional population” as a reason. Employees are professionally unsettled got a mere 4% and 1 % picked “other”.
In India, where corporate structures can often be rigid and limit communication, LinkedIn is the perfect resource for networking. After all, coffee breaks allow you only limited time with a certain number of people. Facebook is for the post-work life. LinkedIn, on the other hand, has a large number of tools and resources directed at the professional.
While there are a large number of professional who are online now, that is not the reason for its usage. LinkedIn allows businesses to advertise and connect with the consumers. Moreover, people can connect with others both inside and outside their field. Once they put up CVs, and get recommendations, they are easily spotted by the employers. No need for mailing resumes: your data is there to see and the competition is relatively transparent.
The number of users on LinkedIn has been growing, and pretty quickly. But just recently, in the space of time, there was a furore about the 6.5 million user account passwords that had been hacked in a major security breach scandal. This brings forth the possibility of scaring away users. With the amount and kind of data that is put up on LinkedIn by users, theft or even identity theft is not a far off eventuality in case of hacking.
LinkedIn, though, doesn’t seem to be affected by the security breach. In fact, the headline they grabbed was for crossing over 15 million users in India. The trend then might be that of a pretty stable growth as more people log in to get jobs and recommendations in this unpredictable economy. If LinkedIn keeps upgrading their site and the tools on it, the growth rate could be steeper. Wonder if India can climb to being LinkedIn’s biggest market as a country?
Written by Ipsita Gauba for Image Management