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LinkedIn strips down its social network to target mobile users in India

LinkedIn today announced a series of exclusive initiatives for its second-biggest market outside of the United States: India.

Chief among the new ventures is LinkedIn Lite, a stripped-down version of the social network’s mobile website. The company claims the majority of its 37 million users in India access its platform via mobile devices. LinkedIn is hoping Lite will help it to build upon its success by targeting people in the remotest areas, as it looks to expand its user base beyond the country’s urban hubs.

Built from scratch by LinkedIn’s India team, the mobile site loads four times faster, regardless of the device or network used to access it. Crucially, the minimal mobile website should also help users save on mobile data. LinkedIn Lite will be available in the coming weeks.

The move sees LinkedIn emulating its rival Facebook, which saw an 8 percent increase in the adoption of its Facebook Lite app by Android users in India in less than a year. The app — aimed at giving people on slower networks a faster Facebook experience — has also witnessed impressive usage figures across Africa. Both Facebook and fellow web giant YouTube are targeting Indian users by offering them more ways to download media content without draining mobile data. Jumping on the bandwagon can’t possibly hurt for other social media sites.

Alongside Lite, LinkedIn also announced the immediate expansion of its placements program to students at all colleges and universities across India. The LinkedIn Placements site offers students the chance to apply for openings at 35 of India’s top corporations. Additionally, the company launched a starter pack of LinkedIn’s premium features, aimed at small to medium-sized businesses and startups.

“India is a vital market for LinkedIn, as we work toward realizing our vision of creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. It’s already one of the world’s most important economies, and continues to experience strong GDP growth.” said Akshay Kothari, country manager and head of product, LinkedIn India.

“While LinkedIn has grown multiple folds in India since we started operating here six years ago, there’s so much more we want to do here … by investing and innovating locally.”

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