LinkedIn membership statistics for the German-speaking region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) released this week go a long way towards explaining why Xing recently focused all its effort and resources on growing inside the region and practically wrote the “Ausland” off: LinkedIn membership is growing at more than double the pace of Xing.
LinkedIn released its latest membership stats to AIM Group. In June it had 35 million members Europe-wide, of which “more than 2 million” came from the German-speaking region, a spokesperson in the Munich office told AIM Group.
An official statement will only be released once the 3-million mark is reached, the spokesperson said.
When LinkedIn opened an office in Munich in August last year, the Europe-wide membership stood at 30 million. So, Europe-wide LinkedIn gained 5 million members in 6 months. In the same period Xing added 700,000 Europe-wide.
With 5.51 million members (at end-March) in the German-speaking region, Hamburg-based Xing is the region’s undisputed No. 1 business network . The question is: for how much longer.
The LinkedIn spokesman didn’t reveal how many members the network had in the German-speaking region in August last year. So, growth from September 2011 to March this year had to be estimated. We made a few assumptions and calculations and came to the conclusion that LinkedIn must be growing at more than double the pace of Xing.
In other words, LinkedIn added at least 1 million members in the 6 months to end-March, when Xing added “only” 410,000. If these growth rates are maintained, Xing will be overtaken and (robbed of its title as “The biggest business network in the German-speaking region”) within the next 36 months.
In February this year Stefan Gross-Selbeck, CEO of Xing, said Xing should be able to double its membership (to about 10 million) in the German-speaking region in coming years. With LinkedIn growing at the pace it does, it might become difficult for Xing to add another 5 million members before the market is saturated.
The LinkedIn spokesperson had the following to add:
“The Munich office covers the German-speaking region, where our operations continue to grow. We currently have 10 people in our Munich office and are appointing new people. The Munich office is supported by numerous employees in the international headquarters in Dublin. LinkedIn also has offices in London, Milan, Madrid, Amsterdam, Dublin, Stockholm and Paris.
“Ariel Eckstein is the MD of the EMEA region and Country Director for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. There are no plans to change that.
“LinkedIn has 35 million members in Europe, of which more than 2 million live in the German-speaking region. Our members are older than 18 years, since we target professionals. When it comes to an upper age limit – there is none.
“Regarding membership numbers: Our membership grows continuously. Over 70 percent of our members are managers or more senior.
“LinkedIn is optimized for the free member, meaning the majority of the features and innovations we develop is offered free to registered members. Our diversified business model (based on revenue from hiring solutions, marketing solutions, and premium subscriptions for power users) enables us to offer users feature-rich functionality at no cost.
“LinkedIn currently has 3 sources of income: Hiring solutions, marketing solutions and premium subscriptions. In Q1 of this year hiring solutions made up 54 percent of our revenue, marketing solutions 26 percent and premium subscriptions 20 percent*.
“We are satisfied with the growth we have seen in the recruitment client list. Major German corporations on LinkedIn include Deutsche Bank, SAP, Siemens, Deutsche Telekom, Münchner Rück, Verlagsgruppe von Holtzbrinck, Verlagsgruppe Bertelsmann.“
* To compare, Xing earns 19 percent of its total revenue from recruitment, 69 percent from paying members, 8 percent from advertising/marketing and 4 percent from events.