LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and made its debut on the stock market four months later on May 19. In December 2016, LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for approximately 26.2 billion U.S. dollars, making it Microsoft's most expensive acquisition to date. LinkedIn results were folded into Microsoft's Product Revenue and Service and Other Revenue segment. LinkedIn generates revenue from three different sources: hiring solutions are the largest contributor to the company’s revenue, followed by advertising and premium subscriptions. LinkedIn’s annual segment revenue in 2018 amounted to over 5.26 billion U.S. dollars.
Members can utilize the network to research people and companies, to connect with past business associates and colleagues as well as to build new relationships with influencers. In contrast to many other social networks, LinkedIn enables users to see who recently viewed their profile – a feature that most internet users find very helpful in fostering networking contacts.
LinkedIn is deemed as a very effective tool for online recruiting with a near-universal usage amongst social recruiting channels. According to industry statistics, LinkedIn has the highest utilization rate in successfully placing a candidate.