Microsoft's social network, LinkedIn, is probably one of the only social platforms where people pay monthly to get a premium service. It has been seen as a stuffy B2B marketing platform, but with the addition of new services, the network continues to build a new brand image.
During the quarterly earnings call Thursday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Marketing Solutions is now the company’s fastest-growing business. The tools make it easier for marketers to connect with LinkedIn’s 645 million members.
During the second calendar quarter in 2019, LinkedIn’s revenue rose about one-quarter in constant currency with continued strength across all businesses, supported by growth in Marketing Solutions. LinkedIn sessions grew 22%, with record levels of engagement and job postings in the quarter, according to the company.
Overall, Microsoft's revenue rose 12% to $33.72 billion from the year-earlier period. The cloud-computing businesses accounted for about one-third of sales, rising 39%. Profit also increased -- bout 49% from a year earlier to $13.19 billion.
Nadella attributed Microsoft's rise in gross margins to LinkedIn and Office 365. But operating expenses also rose — about 8% and 9% — driven by continued investments in LinkedIn and cloud engineering.
I have noticed something different in LinkedIn these days. The site is offering integration with Microsoft’s search engine Microsoft Advertising. It also launched video in 2017.
Despite the early days for video on LinkedIn, but recently at VidCon, the annual conference for online video creators, Goldie Chan, founder of Warm Robots and social media influencer, gave the presentation titled LinkedIn: Your Secret Weapon For Building Your Brand Using Video.
While social media stars emerge on YouTube, Chan took the opportunity to launch on LinkedIn after the company introduced video in 2017.
Some 61% of video marketers plan to use LinkedIn for video marketing in 2019, and 84% of marketers say they have already had success with video on the platform, according to The State of Video Marketing 2019 report from Wyzowl, a video company.
And then there is LinkedIn Live, a streaming service that launched as an invite-only beta earlier this year. LinkedIn choose several third-party developers of live broadcasting streaming services that creators can work with to stream polished content.
Wirecast, Switcher Studio, Wowza Media Systems, Socialive and Brandlive were among the initial third-party support companies.