LinkedIn’s one-click endorsements are crazy popular

It took LinkedIn nine years to reach 187 million members. It took the professional social network about one month to pass 200 million endorsements.

Endorsements are LinkedIn’s lightweight version of recommendations. The one-click, vote-of-approval option was released in late September; it offers members a quick and easy way to tell the world that a friend or co-worker is skilled in any area imaginable, say journalism, social media, or even kettlebells. Received endorsements are listed on member profiles in the skills and expertise section.

Apparently, the people of LinkedIn love these little recognitions and just can’t get enough. More than 200 million endorsements have been doled out by members since release, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in an earnings call with investors and analysts Thursday afternoon.

Above: Endorsed skills

LinkedIn has designed the endorsements product to be both addictive and viral. The company pitches endorsements to people visiting member profiles, and then follows up with additional folks to endorse should people take the initial bait.

But the downside to endorsements is that LinkedIn’s algorithm automatically suggests skills, sometimes rather odd skills, which means your pals are being guided to endorse talents that you may not want publicized — or even have. VentureBeat executive editor Dylan Tweney, for instance, has somehow managed to glean a few endorsements for his rumored “kettlebells” talents. I can confirm that he does not have kettlebell skills.

Weiner said that new LinkedIn products, including endorsements, are contributing to a compound effect of increased engagement with the professional social network’s web and mobile apps. With the rollout of notifications and the new homepage, comments on LinkedIn have increased four fold since June, he said.

Photo credit: nanpalmero/Flickr


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