I had the privilege to participate yesterday on the short presentation by the senior team from LinkedIn Europe and US. After the usual global numbers, 65 million, we got to the interesting stuff:
In Europe there are 15 Million LinkedIn users from 43 European countries:
- Great Britain: 3,2M
- Netherlands 1,5M
- Nordics 1,5M
- Germany 800K
- France 1.3M
- Spain 750K
- Italy 1M
- Eastern Europe 1,5M
The network has strong presence in USA, yet in Europe it encounters two strong local competitors: Xing and Viadeo. Xing with over 8 million members in Europe controls the DACH region with more than 3.4 million members in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The platform is highly localized: 16 languages, 30 thousand specialized groups and over 90 thousand live networking events/year. Viadeo has 1.5 million members in France, yet it is moving to the international markets with 1 million users only in China, compared with 1 million LinkedIn users in the whole Pacific ring. It is also increasing its presence in India. The network has more than 20.000 groups and its user profile consists of 75% professionals, 15% CEOs, 5% freelance, 5% others.
In Europe the localization plays a big role: when LinkedIn changed the Italian website in Italian, it suddenly got “the lost” users back. However, localization does not only mean translation. If you only translate the text that worked in US or UK, it does not mean it will work in Germany or Spain. People use professional networks for different reasons, you need to identify what they find useful and what they do not use to get a relevant message through. When doing business, it is better to use local networks to reach the local businesses yet if you want to reach international audience go for international platform.
But are the two European networks only present in Europe? Now there are some very interesting numbers. It seems like LinkedIn has been concentrating in USA (24M), Canada (1,4M) and Europe (15M), while its presence in other regions is not so strong: Africa (600K), South and Central America (1,2M), Oceania (800K) and as mentioned before: 1M in Pacific Ring compared with 1M Viadeo users only in China. Has LinkedIn been focusing too much in conquering Europe? Are LinkedIn’s European competitors leaving LinkedIn behind in other regions? It looks like “the war” in Europe between the professional networks might go Global.