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LinkedIn dives into the app world- Launches new iPad app
LinkedIn dives into the app world- Launches new iPad app
By: Sneha Bokil-Paranjape

After hitting 14 million Indian users mark just two days back, LinkedIn has added another feather to its cap. The world’s largest professional social network has launched a killer new app for iPad. The much awaited app has got a revamped look with exciting new features that are not even available at the LinkedIn’s website.

Source: Venture Beat

LinkedIn has also updated the versions of its iPhone and Android apps along with the iPad app. Last August, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said that the company is doubling down on its mobile strategy which followed debut new versions of its iPhone and Android apps as well as an HTML5 mobile site.

User Interface:

The beautifully designed app does justice to the magnificent retina display screen of the iPad. It is slick, pared-down and beautifully designed. This is the company’s first foray into tablets and the wait has paid off. The homescreen displays a trendy user interface for quick browsing. It consists of a main hub page with three large icons: All Updates, (Profile) You and Inbox.

Users start at their Hub page, where they can see trending topics, job moves, stock quotes and even an overview of the weather.

The biggest new feature is the calendar widget on the left side of your home updates screen.Professionals live by their smartphones and iPads to manage their day. In particular, they constantly turn to their calendar to see when, where and who they are meeting. To help you understand “who” you are meeting with, the LinkedIn iPad app can sync with your device calendar to incorporate rich LinkedIn profile data about each attendee.

It pulls in appointments from your iPad's calendar (with your permission) and displays the LinkedIn profiles of the people you're going to meet with.

Need for an iPad app:

LinkedIn’s head of mobile products Joff Redfern explains that the app was built keeping in mind the user and tablet interface. Since the iPad has become a lean back experience, LinkedIn wanted to make sure that the app satisfies the needs of the iPad users’. Via the web, LinkedIn noticed that iPad users were visiting the site mostly early in the morning, which they call a coffee session and in the evening between 7 pm and 11 pm. With this data the company wanted to build an application that allowed professionals to start and end the day with LinkedIn.

In fact, the site notices 19 people searches every second via mobile devices, and 41 LinkedIn profile views every second across its current 150 million members. When you’re talking about devices, the iPad has been the fastest grower, up by 250% year over year from 2011.

At the end of Q4 2011 15% of the daily visitors to came via mobile. At the end of Q1 2012, that number had grown to 22%.

Indian Context:

India's booming mobile user base is around 700-plus million and is growing rapidly which is a clear opportunity for LinkedIn. The Indian user base of the largest professional social networking site has grown 300% in three years since it had a marketing presence in India.

LinkedIn has been able to reach critical mass with English - unlike other markets such as China, where local language is the key to build a successful Internet business. That may explain why India is a larger market for LinkedIn than China, where it has barely a million members.

More importantly according to estimates of GSMA a global mobile services lobby, India is expected to become the second-largest mobile broadband market globally with 367 million connections in four years, compared to 20-30 million today

LinkedIn has also been trying to promote its B2B business. Homegrown firms such as Wipro and the Indian arm of multinationals such as Cisco, SAP and Huawei which use LinkedIn as a platform to connect with employees, vendors and business partners.

The apps are free, and they’re live right now. So you can download them on your iOS (as a universal binary) or Android phone. While the app is available in English LinkedIn will soon launch it in other languages.