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LinkedIn Launches Standalone Messaging App

Following Facebook and other increasingly mobile networks, LinkedIn has officially launched a standalone messaging app.

LinkedIn Lookup was developed quickly over the past months in response to what the company saw as a unique market opportunity, we’re told.

That opportunity is thanks to the stale state of most corporate directories. In fact, only 38% of professionals say their companies’ intranets are effective at helping them to learn about and connect with coworkers, according to LinkedIn’s own findings.

In place of decaying directories, Lookup hopes to connect business colleagues far and wide, a LinkedIn spokesman tells us.

For Facebook and other platforms, it’s hard to overstate the significance of messaging apps. As Greg Ratner, director of technology at Deep Focus, recently said: “Messenger is Facebook’s answer to the growing concern of the younger generation abandoning Facebook, the social network, for messaging apps like Snapchat.”

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Using simple notifications -- and direct mobile connections -- messaging apps seem more immediate than your average email experience, while they are obviously more intimate and contained than a social feed.

These benefits have led to enormous user adoption rates. Indeed, after less than a year as a standalone app, Facebook’s Messenger recently surpassed a billion downloads among Android users alone.

While LinkedIn would love to see similar success, the potential audience for Lookup is obviously smaller than for Messenger. The app is now available for iOS users, as long as they and their companies have existing LinkedIn accounts.

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