By Jemima Kiss: LinkedIn continues to buck the recession business trend of slimming down by expanding out, today announcing the launch of a dedicated site for Germany. The service will be bad news for Xing, the market-leading business social network in Germany and much of Europe but LinkedIn, headed by EU managing director Kevin Eyres in London, is aggressively pushing into the continent.
Sites for Spain and France saw significant growth after launch last year – Spain added 200,000 users in two months and France topped 700,000 – and LinkedIn is aiming to grow the existing userbase of 500,000 in Germany. Of those, 80 percent connect outside Germany using English, but Eyres said the introduction of a locally focused service will trigger more domestic activity.
“Members in Germany use their profiles for international business,” he said. “It’s a very self selecting group. “2009 will be more focused on international competition and we’ll be looking to launch more locally relevant sites in other, large markets. Expanding is absolutely core to what we are doing for many reasons, but principally because of the global nature of the economy.”
This is the fourth country-focused site, as distinct from a language translation of which there are already 41. User’s profiles continue to appear in the language they are originally written in, but the site furniture appears in whatever language the user chooses as default. LinkedIn also said that of its 9 million European users, 30 percent are from IT, marketing and advertising and finance sectors. Both finance and banking have seen increases of up to 42 percent as a result of the credit crisis as members try to raise their profile and find new work through the site, and in the UK activity in the recruitment sector also rose 40 percent in the last three months of 2008.
LinkedIn can boast plenty of high-profile members, including Bill Gates and Richard Branson, but the top prize goes to Barack Obama’s flawless profile. Not that he’s looking for a new job any time soon…
This article originally appeared in Â© Guardian News & Media Ltd..