Flush With Cash and Momentum, LinkedIn Looking To Bolster Mobile Next

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MediaPost says: LinkedIn cleared a big hurdle Thursday when it reported strong results in its first quarterly earnings report as a publicly traded company. The professional networking site easily beat Wall Street expectations in the second quarter, with a 5% profit gain and 120% jump in revenue from a year ago. During the company’s conference call, CEO Jeff Weiner called out mobile as a focus of future investment.

With weekly page views on handsets up more than 400% in the last year, mobile is LinkedIn’s fastest-growing consumer service, said Weiner. Later in the year, the company plans to update its “most popular” mobile apps and introduce new mobile services. LinkedIn offers apps across platforms that include Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone and Palm mobile devices.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn is finding higher engagement rates in mobile applications than on the desktop Web. Higher interaction rates in mobile could be especially beneficial to LinkedIn, which has long been faulted for having users that don’t spend much time on the site compared to those on Facebook and other social media properties.

The average time spent per person on Facebook in May, for instance, was about six hours, 21 minutes compared to 18 minutes, 10 seconds on LinkedIn.

To help increase engagement, LinkedIn in March rolled out LinkedIn Today, a feature that lets members track news being read and shared by others within their industry or people in their network. The service was also added to the updated version of LinkedIn’s iPhone app at launch.

Judging by comments in the App Store, the biggest complaint about the LinkedIn app is a lack of features. That includes gripes about no access to LinkedIn Groups, the inability to edit profiles, and the lack of an iPad-optimized app. Overall, the LinkedIn app gets three out of five stars in the App Store, based on nearly 23,000 user ratings. So it looks as if there’s room for improvement.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn also hasn’t made a big push in mobile advertising yet. Weiner didn’t have much to say on that front yesterday, with the focus initially on building out core LinkedIn services and features in mobile.

Even so, it’s not clear advertising on the mobile side will ever account for a big part of LinkedIn’s revenues. As it is, advertising accounts for only about a third of company sales on the desktop Web. Still, assuming LinkedIn continues to expand its mobile presence across smartphones tablets and other devices, advertising in some form (location-based?) will be part of the package.

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