With the launch of a new, revamped mobile app, LinkedIn will for the first time be able to show ads to smartphone users, Reuters reported.
LinkedIn gets nearly one third of its traffic from mobile, so it is experimenting with ways to incorporate ads into the phone app. LinkedIn spokeswoman Julie Inouye announced that the site will test out the idea of inserting ads into the news stream. Like Facebook ads, the mobile ads will attempt to target users' individual interests.
The revamped iOS and Android app focuses on interactivity, making it easier to "like" and comment on shared content. The app has made the news stream more aesthetically pleasing and allows users to personalize navigation, showing users the parts of the site they visit most often. A new video for the app shows a woman using LinkedIn on the go—chatting with her professional network while waiting for a train, "liking" posts from a café.
LinkedIn has been gradually reinventing itself from simply a place to store online résumés to an engagement-focused social media network. Recent redesigns introduced Facebook-like notifications, a "follow" feature, a blogging tool and other features that will get its 200 million users to spend more time on the site.
Though advertising only accounts for about one-fourth of LinkedIn's revenue—the rest comes from selling data to headhunters and companies looking for employees—its ad revenue has been growing rapidly. LinkedIn reported impressive fourth-quarter earnings in February and the company has nearly doubled its number of active advertisers since 2011.