LinkedIn Unveils Sponsored Updates for Desktop and Mobile

Professional social net keeps building ad business

LinkedIn today debuted a sponsored updates offering that it started testing in January, continuing a steady monetization march of its 225-million-users-strong business professionals social net.

Companies and other organizations with LinkedIn company pages can dole out cash to promote their content to the platform's users who don't follow the brand's specific page.

The ads will be seen in users' updates feeds, including targeting different segments of the San Francisco-based firm's growing audience (it has added some 25 million users this year). LinkedIn boasts a median income of $83,000 for its users, which will begin seeing the sponsored updates across desktop, smartphone and tablet experiences.

The ad units are designed to make it easy for viewers to follow the advertiser on LinkedIn as well as comment, "like" and share its promo. They are available in 20 languages and can be tweaked in real time through the platform's analytics system, per LinkedIn. Marketers will have to contact their sales rep with the tech company to test the ad units and can choose between a cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand impressions pricing model.

Brands already employing the sponsored updates include Allstate, Charles Schwab, General Electric, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Wall Street Journal and Xerox.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn is pushing seven ad products that brand marketers seemingly appreciate. Its Marketing Solutions division reported first-quarter revenues of $74.8 million, an increase of 56 percent compared to Q1 2012. 

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