LinkedIn (LNKD) is working to boost its mobile traffic in general, and its job search traffic in particular. Today the company announced new features for its iOS and Android apps that will let users search for jobs, company pages and groups from their smartphones and tablets. The new apps are designed to minimize touchscreen taps, with shortcuts for all the major LinkedIn features.
The 10-year-old professional networking site gets about 30% of its traffic from mobile devices already, and the new apps are likely to boost that percentage. The service has more than 225 million members, about half the number that Twitter has and less than a quarter of Facebook’s membership. LinkedIn does not share statistics on how many of those are premium members, but it did say in its first quarter earnings report that the premium subscription business grew 73% year-on-year.
But premium subscriptions are not the most important business for LinkedIn, and neither is advertising. The company’s recruitment and job search business contributed more than half of total revenue during the first quarter and grew 80% year-on-year. Called talent solutions, the service helps companies and recruiters source “passive” talent, good candidates who may not be actively job hunting at the moment but are open to opportunities. LinkedIn counts major brands like Walmart, Unilever and Sony as clients of its talent solutions service.
That’s why the job search feature of LinkedIn’s new apps may end up being the most important to the company’s future. LinkedIn is positioning its mobile apps as a way for professionals to become more productive by taking advantage of “in-between” moments in their workday to do things like look at job opportunities. The company has also started sending targeted emails to individuals, listing specific job opportunities that may be of interest.