Tough Times Become LinkedIn's Buddy

Business networking site sees surge in users as economy tanks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2008 9:51 AM CST
LinkedIn chairman and founder Reid Hoffman poses for a photo at his company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., last year.    (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
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(Newser) – Bad times for American workers are boosting traffic on popular business networking site LinkedIn. The site has doubled its membership this year as worried professionals step up their networking efforts. "Every individual is a small business or brand," founder and newly reinstated CEO Reid Hoffman told USA Today.

Much of the growth has come from employees or laid-off workers in financial industries. LinkedIn has retooled the site to make it easier for people to connect with people outside their companies. Hoffman expects another boom year in 2009 as the employment picture remains grim. "Many people—employed or not—will do work as consultants, and look for clients" on the site, he said. (Read more LinkedIn stories.)