How to Find The Total Number of LinkedIn Members

Posted by | March 30, 2011 | LinkedIn | 20 Comments

On March 22nd, LinkedIn announced that they had officially crossed the 100 Million member mark.

However, they might have actually crossed the 100 Million member milestone back in January.

How would I know?

I started seriously exploring LinkedIn Ads ever since they announced that they emerged from beta on 1/26/2011, and I noticed that once you configure an ad, LinkedIn displays the total estimated audience based on your targeting, including geography, company, job title, group, gender and age.

When I first looked into LinkedIn Ads, I noticed that the total target audience was somewhere over 99,000,000 when I did not make any targeting selections. I figured this was representative of the total estimated number of LinkedIn profiles worldwide.

Because the figure was so close to 100,000,000, I made a mental note to come back and check in to see if and when the estimated audience crossed the 100M mark.

Back on January 30th, I took a screenshot of a targeted audience of 101,382,559.

Here it is, with the file properties info so you can see when the file was created (and never modified):

 

I was planning on writing about this for quite some time, but I kept prioritizing other posts, so I was bummed when I saw LinkedIn’s official announcement that they crossed 100M profiles on 3/22.

In hindsight, folks at LinkedIn probably would not have been too pleased if I had announced that they had crossed 100M members before they did, so perhaps it all worked out for the best.

Of course, the target audience figure is just an estimate (as is the size of your 2nd and 3rd degree connections, not to mention your total network size!), so perhaps the 101M+ number I saw wasn’t actually representative of the real number of profiles – only LinkedIn would be privy to the exact figure.

Interestingly, when I just went back into LinkedIn Ads to see what the number had gone up to, it’s now magically locked at 100,000,000.

 

However, when I target North America and more specifically the United States (sorry Canada!), I see an estimated target audience of 44.6M people – so as long as as you perform some kind of targeting, you can see dynamic figures.

Explore LinkedIn Ads

If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to explore LinkedIn’s Adsyou can find the estimated number of LinkedIn profiles matching any combination of geography (continent & country), company (name or category), job titles (specific or category), LinkedIn group, gender and age.

While some would argue that LinkedIn Ads are not as “targetable” as Facebook’s or Google’s – LinkedIn’s professional/work related data (e.g., companies, job titles, etc.)  is much deeper and more thoroughly populated (and thus leverageable!) than Facebook or Google for employment advertising for sure!

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About Glen Cathey

Glen Cathey is a sourcing and recruiting thought leader with over 16 years of experience working in large staffing agency and global RPO environments (>1,000 recruiters and nearly 100,000 hires annually). Starting out his career as a top producing recruiter, he quickly advanced into senior management roles and now currently serves as the SVP of Strategic Talent Acquisition and Innovation for Kforce, working out of their renowned National Recruiting Center with over 300 recruiters. Often requested to speak on sourcing and recruiting best practices, trends and strategies, Glen has traveled internationally to present at many talent acquisition conferences (5X LinkedIn Talent Connect - U.S. '10, '11, '12, Toronto '12, London '12, 2X Australasian Talent Conference - Sydney & Melbourne '11, '12, 6X SourceCon, 2X TruLondon, 2X HCI) and is regularly requested to present to companies (e.g., PwC, Deloitte, Intel, Booz Allen Hamilton, Citigroup, etc.). This blog is his personal passion and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone other than himself.

  • http://www.iprc.nl/ Jacco Valkenburg

    Glenn, I stopped using LinkedIn Ads to gather statistic information immediately when I started using LinkedIn Recruiter last year. I noticed that the Ads numbers are unreliable and roughly +10% more than, what I consider to be, the real numbers (which you get via LinkedIn Recruiter).

    A few reasons for this:
    1) Check LinkedIn Ads tomorrow. And check it again the day after. You’ll notice that the numbers don’t change every day. Not very dynamic.
    2) Now check LinkedIn Recruiter and conduct a search e.g. country (you need at least one filter). And check the numbers after 15 minutes. The number of results have changed.
    3) LinkedIn is not using these numbers…

    And the disclaimer says it all: “The Estimated Target Audience is an approximation of total member registrations and should not be considered exact.”

  • http://www.booleanblackbelt.com Glen Cathey

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting Jacco!

    LinkedIn Ad target audience figures are clearly estimates, but they are the best that those who are not fortunate enough to have access to LinkedIn Recruiter have access to.

    And especially those with accounts that do not allow you to search for total members by country because you can no longer search without entering keywords – a functionality they took away not too long ago. :-(

    Also – LinkedIn Ads do give you some *estimated* insights into gender and age distribution…

  • Claire

    I wonder how many of these 100 million are legit profiles – I’ve been rather amused today by LinkedIn suggesting I may want to connect with Sherlock Holmes, The Wizard of In, JRR Tolkien and various other profiles of fictitious or long-dead people…

  • Claire

    I wonder how many of these 100 million are legit profiles – I’ve been rather amused today by LinkedIn suggesting I may want to connect with Sherlock Holmes, The Wizard of In, JRR Tolkien and various other profiles of fictitious or long-dead people…

  • http://www.booleanblackbelt.com Glen Cathey

    I haven’t come across any profiles like that – perhaps an April Fools joke by LinkedIn?

    :-)

    Can you share any images?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Victor-Soroka/1408640836 Victor Soroka

    It was 1 April joke from Linkedin. They suggest me to connect with Ernest Hemingway and Dr. Watson:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Victor-Soroka/1408640836 Victor Soroka

    Agree with you. Recruiter account will give you better results but anyway Linkedin Ads is a great solution if you don’t have access to expensive account. Could you please share with us some numbers (any country) from your account and we will compare them with Ads results?

  • http://www.iprc.nl/ Jacco Valkenburg

    That’s not too much work. Any countries in particular?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Victor-Soroka/1408640836 Victor Soroka

    Let’s try with Russian Federation, Ukraine and USA if you don’t mind. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Victor-Soroka/1408640836 Victor Soroka

    Let’s try with Russian Federation, Ukraine and USA if you don’t mind. Thanks!

  • http://www.iprc.nl/ Jacco Valkenburg

    Here are the figures on 6 April 2011 14:00 CET:

    Russian Federation: 339,584 results
    Ukraine: 160,520 results
    USA: 39,902,779 results

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Victor-Soroka/1408640836 Victor Soroka

    Thank you Jacco!
    You were right, numbers in LinkedAds
    Ukraine – 186,767
    Russia – 404,168
    USA – 45,318,452

    +10% to your numbers.

    And what about total numbers of LinkedIn users? Could you see it using your account?
    I have some doubts that they have 100 M…

  • http://www.iprc.nl/ Jacco Valkenburg

    No, total numbers is the only thing I cannot monitor with this account. But they have at least 100M people registered since start as this profile has an ID just above 100M; http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=100000003&trk=tab_pro

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Victor-Soroka/1408640836 Victor Soroka

    I suppose there are some cheating from LinkedIn with total users number… 22 March they declared 100 Mln but if we ran any search with premium filter Recently joined 1-3 months we’ll find users with ID 106 mln and higher. Glen what do you think?

  • http://www.iprc.nl/ Jacco Valkenburg

    @Victor they probably have cheated a little but the press release talks about 100 million registered members. It’s likely that a few million people unregistered since 2003, including users who, often accidently, created duplicate acounts.

    When did you see ID 106M for the first time? The press release is almost 1 month old and in that period approx 4 million new members registered.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Victor-Soroka/1408640836 Victor Soroka

    @ Jacco We can find users with 106 mln ID when we run search “manager” and premium filter Recently joined 1-3 months.It’s mean that in result we should receive accounts created from 30 to 90 days ago, and not receive created during last 30 days.There are a lot of users with 106 mln ID. It means they registered their profiles before official press release and had ID +6 mln to official numbers.
    Now they have users with 111 mln ID. For example run any a search with filter Recently Joined – 1 day. It’s hard to believe they have 11 mln new users less than a month (since 22 March)

  • http://www.iprc.nl/ Jacco Valkenburg

    @Victor the way I see it is that LinkedIn lost approx 7M registered members since they started 8 years ago (5 May 2003). That’s not a bad churn rate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Victor-Soroka/1408640836 Victor Soroka

    Yes I think users deleted their profiles could be an explanation.
    Anyway it’s not correct to declare 44 million users in USA – http://blog.linkedin.com/100million/ while even you with your best account can reach only around 39 mln)
    Thank you again for your answers!

  • Brian Kearns

    The one advantage ads have over recruiter accounts is Gender Diversity, as in the Recruiter Account, from what I can see you are unable to filter by Gender. If your organisation has Gender and Diversity Targets Ad’s provides you with a rough guide + or – 10% of where the talent lies.

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