LinkedIn CEO “fully expects” to build in-enterprise social networking tools

Business social-networking site LinkedIn chief executive Jeff Weiner said he expects to include internal enterprise communication tools like those seen in Salesforce.com’s Chatter and Yammer within LinkedIn.

“Certainly as enterprises become increasingly social, that’s an area where we want to add value,” Weiner said on the company’s earnings call today. “Over time, I fully expect us to be creating more relevant products and services our membership can use where they work.”

LinkedIn, founded by Reid Hoffman, is a business network that’s designed to help professionals connect with other potential business contacts and get a “warm introduction” through people in their network. Right now the company is focused on “external communication” and helping business professionals connect with other businesses and professionals. But that could change, thanks to the success of internal social networking site providers like Yammer and Salesforce.com.

Yammer builds an internal social network for individual companies that’s similar to Facebook. Employees can post updates about what they are working on, and add polls and a number of other interactive media elements. It’s one of a number of stars in the enterprise 2.0 space — along with companies like collaboration service Huddle and cloud storage provider Box.net — that are taking a lot of the lessons learned from Web 2.0 applications like Twitter and Facebook to the enterprise.

Yammer has picked up around 3 million verified corporate users and 80 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500 have deployed the enterprise social network. It was so successful that it prompted Salesforce.com to re-invent its own micro-blogging service called Chatter. That service, which comes with Salesforce.com’s customer relationship management software and is also available for free, is another internal social network for enterprises.

LinkedIn’s trading debut in June went extremely well, and the company now has a market cap of around $9 billion, well above the valuation of $4 billion it claimed when it priced the shares of its initial public offering between $42 and $45. The company’s shares are currently trading around $100 — more than double the IPO pricing.

The company reported its quarterly earnings for the first time as a public company today. LinkedIn brought in $121 million in the second quarter this year, up 120 percent from $54.9 million in the second quarter last year. The company made $4.5 million in profit off that in the second quarter this year, up from $4.3 million in the second quarter a year earlier.


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