Just recently, the professional network LinkedIn has started to enter the programmatic advertising realm with the platform’s new deal with advertisers. In other words, LinkedIn has become a publisher similar to Facebook or Mashable in the digital sphere by allowing advertisers to bid for ads on the professional network’s site.
In addition to LinkedIn allowing advertisers and other online marketers to bid on ad space in private auctions, the publisher will also use third party data for targeting purposes. This data will also these marketers to more effectively pitch their ads to visitors on the LinkedIn homepage. Prices in the private auction may be considerably more expensive for display ads, as LinkedIn is a widely used publisher for professionals of all different fields across the country.
LinkedIn’s head of products, Russell Glass, has expressed that allowing increased programmatic advertising to marketers and advertisers expands the market for this platform.
“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” he said in an interview. “We want to build table stakes capabilities into our platform in a way that highlights our differences, but is kind of what marketers have come to expect.”
Although advertising growth on LinkedIn has been increasing, this revenue has slowed down in growth with other social media profiles such as Twitter and Facebook. Earlier this year, eMarketer conducted a report that stated ad revenue was expected to drop 17.8% instead of 20.5% this year. While growth is slow across the board, Twitter (45%) and Facebook (31.5%) are said to have increased ad revenue in the next year or so.
On the other hand, LinkedIn had a lucrative year in terms of mobile growth rates in 2015, with revenue on mobile devices well surpassing 170%. However, this year revenue projections will be closer to a more steady, national average instead of the exponential growth the platform experienced this year.
Similar to Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn is experiencing slower growth as it becomes a larger entity as a publisher in the digital space.
With Microsoft’s recent interest to acquire the professional network for 26.2 million, this potential business deal could be one of the largest tech mergers in the industry’s history.