Linkedin Business Model – How does Linkedin make money

Have you ever heard of Linkedin? Oops, wrong question. The question should be how often do you use this platform. Linkedin is also a social media platform like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But this platform has more working professionals. This is the first social media platform that is for working people. It connects professionals across the globe. And it has successfully established itself in the market too.

As you it has brought professionals closer and has also become a social media platform where working people can learn from each other. Another important thing about this platform is that it has brought recruiters and job seekers closer. If you see, LinkedIn has become the most sought out platform to find potential candidates for jobs. People have understood the importance of networking, the more connections you have within people who work in your industry the more opportunities will be known at your door. This platform has become a boon, especially for freelancers.

Yup, the freelancers are connecting with more and more people that could help them introduce to new work. As you see people can also post their thoughts on the platform. Not only that they can like, share, comment and follow other professionals on the platform. From CEOs of top companies to office workers, this platform can bring you a lot of useful connections. If you want to go forward in your career then it is important to network and makes good connections. 

Linkedin is one such platform that is particularly for working professionals, freelancers. But have you ever wondered what the business model of Linkedin is and how it makes money? If yes, then you’re at the right place. Stick till the end of this article to find the answers to these questions.


If you want to know more about Linkedin then first you must know what it is and how it operates. What are you waiting for? Then let’s dive into the topic then.

Linkedin was founded by Reid Hoffman. He is a well-known American venture capitalist and internet entrepreneur. As of August 2004, this platform has around 1Million users. It was founded back in 2003. Apart from Reid Hoffman, the other founders include Allen Blue, Eric Ly, Konstantin Guericke and Jean-Luc Vaillant. LinkedIn is also a social media platform the primary reason for creating this platform is to create a community for the professionals to connect.  As of 2020, this platform has around 706 million registered users.

This platform is available in 24 languages and it is available in 150 countries. LinkedIn has become the primary source for many job seekers to find information relating to jobs. The companies are posting about the job openings on this platform. So whenever a jobseeker comes across an opening they can apply to it directly on the platform. Cool, right? Not only that when the recruiters search for a particular position they can come across different users and approach them directly to see if they are interested in the job opportunity.

The users can create profiles that include all their details from their education to previous jobs. So once they create a profile and become part of LinkedIn they can connect with their colleagues, college alma mater. Not only that you can connect and follow top thought leaders, businessmen, etc. If you’re a start-up, you can build your brand online. Not only you can even create connections that will help you in furthering your business.

Thanks to this platform the business doesn’t have to go out of their way to recruit fresh talent. LinkedIn has become a hub for talent. So it is making everything easy for the businesses as they can do everything right from the Platform. With the growth of the internet, this platform has also grown tremendously.

This brings us to the business model of LinkedIn. Apart from connecting the recruiters with talent this platform also connects companies with recruiters too. Yup, you heard it right. This is the reason why most of the businesses are using LinkedIn to advance in their business. It provides businesses with endless opportunities to advance.

In this industry, LinkedIn has established itself to be the best platform when it comes to professional networking. Companies and professionals pay extra to avail the premium services it offers. Not only them, but users also pay extra to stand out from the rest. As you see they will be welcoming a lot of opportunities when they stand out from the rest. So this is the only platform where users pay to stand out. If you want to know how this platform makes money then you must first understand about its customers.

Key partners of LinkedIn

As you already know, apart from the professionals it also serves for the customers. So here are the key partners of this platform. LinkedIn has four major customer segments. What are you waiting for? Let’s know more about them then. 


Recruiters are people looking for talented individuals with a promising talent for their organisation. Sometimes these recruiters may work to bring together companies and job seekers. They help companies find the right candidates they are looking for. So these are the people who search for talent on this platform.


These are the people who create profiles on this platform. They can access the platform online. Simply put, they are the internet users, who have a profile on this platform. 

Third-party developers 

These are the people who are part of the developer’s community. As you as the members of this community they are quite interested in deploying and developing software tools with the help of LinkedIn API.

Marketers and advertisers

These people are part of every social media platform. Be it Facebook or LinkedIn. With these platforms, they can reach a wider range of audiences. And not to forget the reach of this platform is also worldwide. So the advertisers and marketers use this platform to reach decision-makers along with their targeted audience.

How does LinkedIn make money?

Now that you have understood about the business model and key partners of this platform. It is time to talk about finances. As you see this platform has been in the market for a long time. To be precise it has been in the market for around 17 years. For any platform to stay in business for this long is not a small thing. Also over the years, it has established itself to be the best platform for networking and improving brand image. With all this being said. You must be curious about how this social media platform makes money. Let’s dive right into the topic then. 

Premium services 

First, let’s talk about the most obvious source of income for this platform. Premium subscriptions are one of the major sources of income for this platform. As you already know, LinkedIn offers premium services to its users. And many professionals are interested in using these services to stand out from the rest of the profiles in the platform. The premium plans are catered to the specific needs of the users. The premium subscription includes four plans, they are


Business Plan

Sales Navigator

Recruiter Lite


One of the subscription plans is a career. This is usually for job seekers who want to be visible to recruiters. One of the fastest ways to get hired is to stand out from the crowd and this plan will get exactly that to your profile. You see there can be hundreds of qualified people for a job, but the job belongs to the one who catches the attention of the recruiter first. So if you want to win against other qualified applicants like you then subscribing to this plan is perfect.

Also not only that you will also users will get an exact look of who is looking at their profile. By subscribing to this plan you will also get access to insights and exclusive tools that will help you in advancing your career by finding a new job. You will receive access to LinkedIn learning, LinkedIn salary insights, 3 or 5 Inmails per month and also the gold logo on their profile picture. It costs around $29.99/month.

Business Plan 

With the business plan subscription, the users can grow their business and nurture their network. If you want your business to succeed then you must find and network with the right people. This subscription plan will help you in doing just that. It opens up a new set of benefits to you that will help you in promoting and growing their business. Apart from that this plan also helps you in enhancing your brand by learning new skills. This plan will improve your growth and help you in taking your business to new heights.

The LinkedIn business plan is undoubtedly one of the oldest plans. It is created with executives and professionals in view. Some of the functionalities it offers are access to LinkedIn learning, unlimited browsing and searching, company insights, more Inmails (15 Inmails) to reach people and promote your business. Lastly, it also provides you with 90 days of access to check who viewed your profile. See you can know who is checking your profile and most importantly you will be able to reach more people through inmails and promote your business. It is available at $59.99/month.

Sales Navigator 

Next tier in this subscription plan is the Sales Navigator, and this is one of the fastest-growing plans in LinkedIn. This will be highly helpful for salespeople. As you see, this plan opens up around 660 million people to the salespeople. They can definitely create a strong network, don’t you agree? Before a sales Navigator, most of the business people have to resort to a business plan subscription plan. But with the introduction of this plan, the salespeople can generate more leads and sales.

With this sales Navigator plan, the salespeople can focus and follow their targeted accounts. The benefits that this plan offers are doing better searches, allowing people to follow people for engagement and lastly, they can use inmails to send messages to anyone. If you’re a team and are taking the team plan then you can get more insights into their team members network. Not only that they can point drive to generate leads and also share content with clients. This plan costs around $79.99/month.


This plan focuses mostly on engaging, focusing and managing the recruitment process. You see one of the main reasons more and more people are interested in this platform is because it brings both job seekers and recruiters together. The reason behind the popularity of this platform is that people can interact with recruiters and find jobs. Many people have found jobs thanks to this platform. This plan is suitable for recruiters only. In case you’re not hiring then this plan may come off as expensive. Some of the benefits that recruiters will receive through this plan are wider visibility into your connections and network, you can build candidate pipelines, partner up with the recruiters to initiate hiring, enable advanced search so that you can get your hands on the best talent in the industry. This plan costs around $119.95/month.

Talent solutions 

More than 65% of the revenue for this platform comes from Talent solutions. As you already know, recruitment was one of the most important aspects of this platform. Talent solutions have two parts i..e, hiring and learning and development. Hiring helps the recruiters in attracting, recruiting and hiring the right candidates.

However, Learning and development offer users with content that helps you in learning like online courses to both individuals and clients. Not only that talent solutions include all the tools that will help recruiters in finding the right talent. Some of the primary solutions that are offered by talent solutions are recruitment media, job slots, work with our ads, etc.

One of the best things about LinkedIn is that apart from looking for jobs, people also come to this platform to promote their personal brand. Most of the recruiters trust LinkedIn more than any other job portals because they can get a better understanding of the candidate.

Partnerships & Acquisitions 

One of the sources of income for this platform is through partnerships and acquisitions. Some of the renowned acquisitions LinkedIn made are LinkedIn Learning and SlideShare. Slideshare platform was acquired by LinkedIn in 2013. The main reason to acquire this platform is that they want their users to discover connections through content.

Slideshare is a platform on which users can share their content either publicly or privately in PDF, Powerpoint, OpenDocument or Keynote format. And the best thing about this platform is that it is absolutely free for everybody. Apart from SlideShare, LinkedIn has also acquired Lynda. This eLearning platform is the most recent acquisition of LinkedIn. It is a subscription-based revenue model through which users can learn software, business, creative skills and technology through videos.

Marketing solutions 

Most people think that this platform is a job recruitment platform, it is true, But they must not forget that it is a social media platform too. This is one of the most sought after platforms by marketers to execute their marketing campaigns. Marketing solutions contribute to around 18% of the total revenue of LinkedIn. This platform provides marketers with amazing features that will help them in creating their company page. Not only that it also enhances their marketing efforts by creating text advertisements, sponsored Inmails and content.

Wrapping up   

As you have made it to the end of this article, hope you have got more insights on LinkedIn, its business model and how it makes money. LinkedIn has been one of the most popular social media platforms among job seekers and recruiters. As you know, this is one of the first platforms that has brought job seekers close to recruiters and improved their chances of getting hired.

Recruiters also use this platform so that they can search for the best talent and get their hands on them before their competitors can. One of the major sources of income for LinkedIn is its premium subscription plans. It has something to offer from job seekers to sales navigators. Since they want to stand out from the rest of the applicants they will opt for premium services. Are you interested in knowing more about such business models? If yes, then check out other articles in Zeen business models category. 

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