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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

LinkedIn Refreshes Mobile App

On Thursday, LinkedIn unveiled an overhauled version of its mobile application, its first refresh in nearly two years.

In recent months, the company has put its muscle into refining its mobile offerings â€" with good reason. Mobile accounts for nearly a third of the traffic to LinkedIn, nearly double from the previous year. In addition, the company said mobile page views have increased 250 percent. (It declined to break out specific figures.) In addition, the company said that each second, 90 LinkedIn profiles are viewed on its mobile application.

“We’re at an inflection point,” said Tomer Cohen, director of mobile products at LinkedIn, who oversaw the redesign. The service is not for just typical business professionals, he said. “We’re now focusing on everyday use, with people using the app multiple times a day.”

The company redid its visual interface and freshened its news feed to simplify the news, updates and information that users see when they start the application. They only spend a few minutes in the app each time they open it, so the company wanted to make sure they were seeing valuable, timely information.

“It’s really important to nail that interaction right,” Mr. Cohen said. “It’s really important people get their content really fast.”

He said that LinkedIn has watched the pool of users expand from traditional business people to anyone who is employed or hoping to be.

“We saw the mainstreaming of our base. It’s not just around profile views and searches, it’s a lot of content consumption, commenting, liking and sharing,” Mr. Cohen said.

The company says it is determined to buy companies and introduce products that make LinkedIn more useful to those who use the site to hunt for jobs, get career information, look for prospective hires and hone their network of contacts.

Most recently, the company bought Pulse, a start-up that helped people browse news and information on their phones, although LinkedIn executives say that the technology and assets acquired have not yet been integrated into the latest mobile version.