LinkedIn’s Hitting the Big Times Now (New Bells and Whistles Also on Deck)

Commonly mischaracterized as Facebook’s stodgy cousin, LinkedIn’s more sterling attributes have recently undergone some newsworthy polishing.

Milestone of milestones, the career-smart professional’s social network surpassed 100 million users this year on March 22 — really just a little over two weeks ago — and its popularity is spreading fast, most especially among the international crowd: 56% of LinkedIn’s users live outside the United States. Brazil, Mexico, India, and France (descending order, here), account for the countries with the most users.

And even earlier this year, near the end of January (the 27th), the company submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission the paperwork necessary to get underway its initial public offering. Big Times, indeed. The IPO is expected to happen soon but there’s still no immediate numbers about when the offering will occur, how many shares will be available, or how much everything will cost.

Somewhat surprisingly, LinkedIn first became profitable in 2010 by earning $10.1 million. Its gains came from job listings, marketing solutions, and premium subscriptions.

As for the site’s new trimmings, users are apparently in for a treat. There’s many: a “cooler” résumé builder, a tool to create a colorful picture of your network, and another to see — by year — who in your network has switched jobs. If you need a tutorial on these new tricks, you can always go to:

To add some perspective, Facebook reached 500 million users last July and though it’s made gestures of IPO preparation, there’s still no official word about when.

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