LinkedIn, the career-oriented social networking website, on Wednesday will unveil an assortment of applications from big names like Google and Amazon.com in a push to integrate LinkedIn's platform into the daily workings of corporate life.
Social networking sites have been hard hit by the economic downturn, as companies with venture capitalist funding but no proven revenue streams slash jobs in an attempt to weather an expected recession.
However, LinkedIn, with 370 employees and 30 million members, turned a profit last year. The privately held company has become popular among professionals for networking and job searching, an appeal that may persist, and possibly strengthen, in tough economic times.
The eight new offerings include programs that allow users to share files, presentations, reading lists, blogs and travel schedules with colleagues, which the company hopes will entice people into using the site for more than just job hunting.
"What you're looking at here is really collaboration infrastructure for companies," said Patrick Crane, LinkedIn's vice president of marketing.
An application from Box.net lets users share and manage documents through a LinkedIn profile page, while Huddle.net's program offers co-workers a secure online "workspace" to swap ideas, and team up on projects. Other new applications include a Google service where users can embed presentations on their profile page, and Amazon's reading list feature, which displays what members and other people in their industry are reading.
Crane said the company has focused on making the applications secure. He acknowledged that large companies may balk at the idea of employees using the site as a virtual meeting room, but he was confident that small and medium-sized business would be very receptive.
Last week, the Mountain View, California-based company announced an additional investment of $22.7 million, following a $53 million injection in June.
Total investments value the company at more than $1 billion.
Jamie Templeton, LinkedIn's VP of platform products, said the new applications recognize that LinkedIn members typically are short on time and not interested in entertainment.
The company's revenue stream is divided fairly evenly between four categories: premium subscription, advertising, job postings, and a recruiting service, Crane said.
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