Hot on the heels of Demand Media's successful public offering, LinkedIn, the business-oriented social networking site, announced its intention to go public. The Mountain View, California, company reported revenue of $161.4 million in the first nine months of 2010, according to LinkedIn's S-1 filing. Of that revenue, the company posted $1.85 million in profit, the filing said.
The site has more than 90 million members (half of whom live outside the U.S.), though they tend not to be nearly as active as Facebook users. "[A] substantial majority of our page views are generated by a minority of our members," the company admits in its S-1.
Still, given the pleasant reception the market afforded Demand Media and the enthusiasm for possibly forthcoming IPOs from Facebook and Groupon, one can imagine a LinkedIn public offering faring quite well. The company is clearly banking on the idea that it can raise money and, in the meantime, figure out new ways to foster member engagement—though that goal has been front-and-center at the company for quite some time.
"[M]any professionals still don't understand how LinkedIn can be valuable on a daily or weekly basis," founder Reid Hoffman told Inc. contributor Mark Lacter in 2009. "In a boom, employers are really hunting for a good person, and they're using LinkedIn. And during a bust, people on the other side are looking for a good opportunity." His hope then was that LinkedIn groups and other features would provide valuable networking opportunities, as well as access to career development resources and a look at industry best practices.