Posted January 6, 2011 4:54 pm by with 2 comments

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Facebook may get more than its share of buzz, but Linkedin, the social media network with an eye toward business relationships, has been quietly sneaking up on the world. According to the LA Times and a variety of other sources, Linkedin appears to be priming itself for an early 2011 IPO.

Sources say that Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase all took meetings with Linkedin back in November and the timing couldn’t be better. With the financial world all a flutter at the thought of investing in a social media site, Linkedin would be smart to jump in before Facebook steals the spotlight once again.

Of course, comparing the two social media sites is like comparing Kim Kardashian to Oprah. Like Kim, Facebook is all about connecting with friends and realtives for fun — share photos, play games, swap stories over a virtual cup of coffee. Linkedin, however, is all business. Connections are developed through working relationships and the chatter is career based. Linkedin is where you go if you want to find a professional partner, Facebook is where you go if you want a partner of a different kind.

Linkedin may not capture the headlines like Facebook but behind the scenes, they’ve got it all going on. Says the LA Times:

LinkedIn, which has more than 1,000 employees, may not have the explosive growth of Facebook but it is one of the first social media websites to become profitable, making money from premium services and advertising. LinkedIn does not disclose financial results but estimates of 2010 revenue are $200 million.

Which goes to prove that publicly popular doesn’t always mean profitable. 

Check out these current facts from their “About” page:

  • LinkedIn has more than 90 million members in over 200 countries around the globe.
  • A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of our members are outside the U.S.
  • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.

Now imagine where they could go with an IPO.

  • I wonder how many people would join LinkedIn if not for the fact that you have to join to get a useful amount of information from a member’s profile.

  • Hi Cynthia,

    I have my own linkedin account which I use to connect with other unique entrepreneurs who I can get help from and stay in touch business wise. I understood going into linkedin that this site was more geared toward professional business service type social media which I thought was absolutely brilliant. A place where credibility and trust is the biggest leverage to increasing business clients!