This chapter discussed rival firms cooperating. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, LinkedIn is an online professional network designed to help members find jobs, connect with other profession­als, and locate business opportunities. There are currently more than 160 million LinkedIn members in 200 countries. Launched in 2003, LinkedIn is free to join, but the company offers a paid premium membership with additional features. LinkedIn sells advertising and earns revenue through its job­listing service. Companies post job openings on LinkedIn and search for candidates on LinkedIn— particularly advantageous for students nearing graduation. Members of LinkedIn tend to be white col­lar and highly educated; more than 40 percent of LinkedIn visitors earn more than $100,000 per year.

LinkedIn’s major rival, Facebook, recently launched “professional” rather than personal features to its business, thus trying to take market share from LinkedIn, whose primary strategy is product de­velopment. LinkedIn continually develops new and improved, visible and invisible, business analytics models to gather and assimilate data. LinkedIn has developed a big-data framework dubbed Gobblin that helps the social network collect tons of data from a variety of sources, so that it can be analyzed in its Hadoop-based data warehouses. The company also houses a variety of internal data (information pertaining to member profiles, user actions such as comments and clicking, and so on) in databases such as Espresso and event-logging systems such as Kafka. Also, LinkedIn takes in data from outside sources—for instance, Salesforce and Twitter. Advertisers increasingly are using LinkedIn to more effectively promote various products and services to businesspersons globally.

Source: David Fred, David Forest (2016), Strategic Management: A Competitive Advantage Approach, Concepts and Cases, Pearson (16th Edition).

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