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The world's largest career network, LinkedIn, has suggested that it is catching up to the market leader in German speaking countries, Xing.
More than three million people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland now have a professional profile on LinkedIn, the company announced on Friday. The number increased by 47% compared with last year. On the other hand Xing, the current leader in the German speaking market has reached six million members across the three countries, twice the size of LinkedIn.
"This growth is totally organic, because professionals in Germany invite other professionals to LinkedIn," said Ariel Eckstein, Managing Director for LinkedIn EMEA, to the news agency DPA. When asked if there was room for two career networks, Eckstein replied that competition is always good for consumers, and added: "LinkedIn is the only global platform and we are very optimistic about our future in the German speaking market”. Worldwide, LinkedIn claims it has 187 million members, including 45 million in Europe.
Early next year, LinkedIn will introduce a German-language version of the platform, specifically designed for recruitment and placement. These services will be accessible to paying members only, creating a new revenue stream in addition to advertising. The company has particularly high expectations for LinkedIn job search and applications from mobile devices, which is already used by 42% of LinkedIn members in the ‘DACH’ region, according to a recent survey commissioned by LinkedIn. However, the survey also revealed that social networks like Facebook or Google + are more widely used than professional networking sites by prospective candidates wishing to contact employers: 26% of respondents used social networks, while only 13% used professional networks.