LinkedIn Updates iPad, Pulse Apps, Launches 'Intro'

LinkedIn has unveiled updated iPad and Pulse apps along with a new email offering called LinkedIn Intro that includes a sender’s profile information.

The company announced the new products in a live online presentation intended  to underscore its focus on mobile development. Some 238 million users access the professional networking site via handheld devices. As of the third quarter, mobile accounted for 38% of LinkedIn’s traffic and is over 50% in some markets.

Catering to that increasing mobile use, the new LinkedIn Intro works with a user’s iPhone Mail app to pull data from the site to their emails. Users can see someone’s photo, job title and location via LinkedIn right below the email subject field. Tapping on that bar brings up a sender’s full profile information and gallery of mutual LinkedIn connections.

LinkedIn Intro was created by Rahul Vohra, the founder of Rapportive, a service that integrates social-networking data into to a user’s Gmail account, which LinkedIn acquired last year. Linked Intro -- which supports Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail and iCloud within the iPhone Mail app -- was released today in English at

LinkedIn also rolled out a revamped iPad app featuring a more visual design that allows users to do things like play a video without having to leave the feed and tap on an image to expand it. Users can now also take actions, such as liking, sharing and commenting from their feed, which could help LinkedIn drive greater interaction within the app.

In addition, LinkedIn previewed the latest version of the Pulse news app that it acquired earlier this year for $90 million. The updated app, which will be released soon on iOS and Android platforms, features deeper integration with LinkedIn and personalization around professional news and topics of interest.

The new and updated mobile offerings follow the launch of other new apps from LinkedIn in the last few months, including its Contacts and Recruit Apps. Joff Redfern, vice president, mobile product, at LinkedIn, explained the company’s approach is to release a series of discrete apps tailored to different users and functions instead of creating an all-in-one app. “We’re going to have a multi-app strategy,” he said.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said mobile would play a major role in the company's efforts to scale its business. 

LinkedIn hasn’t disclosed the size of its mobile ad business, but it’s still likely quite small since it has only introduced advertising gradually on its mobile properties. That could change with the rollout of Sponsored Updates in users’ news feeds across the desktop and mobile in the last few months.

Facebook’s mobile ad business took off after it extended news feed ads from the desktop to mobile devices. Mobile ad sales grew to 41% of the company’s total ad revenue in the second quarter from virtually nothing at the start of last year.  

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