LinkedIn launches its first Middle East office in Dubai

LinkedIn – the world’s largest professional network – announced the opening of its first Middle East office in Dubai today. With an office in Dubai Internet City (an information technology park), LinkedIn will be focusing on selling its hiring and recruitment solutions to firms in the Middle East. Its marketing solutions and advertising sales will be continued to be handled by Dubai Media City based Clique Media.

Hiring Solutions has been LinkedIn’s key revenue driver accounting for 53% in second quarter of 2012, while Marketing Solution accounted for 28%, and Premium subscriptions accounted for 19% (Source: LinkedIn Earnings).

Despite not being available in Arabic, LinkedIn has a strong presence in the Middle East. There are over 4.7 million registered users on LinkedIn in the Middle East, of which 2.5 million are in the GCC, and around 1.1 million in the UAE.

Disclosure: I work for Clique Media which has been handling LinkedIn’s marketing solutions and advertising sales in MENA since 2010.  LinkedIn’s revenue split has been taken from their earnings calls while their member count has been taken from their publicly available Ads tool.  



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Facebook: What it is and what I want it to be.

It was this very month, in fact this very week of May when Facebook was opened up to my university among others in the UK. Judging from my profile ID (223400006) I’d like to think I was #6 to sign up. Facebook has changed immensely since, and not always for the good. From opening up to general public to releasing the Application Platform, an old school user (I’m not talking about me) wouldn’t recognise the Facebook he/she saw today from the one back then. However this isn’t a post to bitch about ‘features’ I dislike. Instead I’ll talk about where I see Facebook headed, or want to see it headed.

As it stands now, Facebook is pretty popular Social networking platform. I have all my friends on here and I can see what they have been upto in a variety of ways. Their photos, reading their walls, their notes (blog posts), events they are attending and most importantly status updates. I can find out common interests too by looking at their profile or the outlandish groups they join. Communication is done via public wall posts or Messaging, which Facebook hopes will replace email but more on that later.

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Facebook is Microsoft’s rebound fling! Will we see a happy ending ?

After months of bickering, Microsoft and Yahoo did not tie the knot. The decision while celebrated by some, disappointed others, including Yahoo. Aw Yahoo I understand what is to be broken hearted.

Adding insult to injury is the news from WSJ reporting Microsoft’s bankers have informally approached Facebook over a possible acquisiton. Flashback time: Microsoft invested $240m for a 1.6% stake (which valued Facebook at $15bn) and was an all advertisement deal.

Knowing that, what Microsoft stands to gain from this deal is unimaginable. The affair with Yahoo was to try and build up a stronghold in the search and ad market (to compete with Google), and Facebook hasn’t (yet) been a strong ad platform as one would’ve thought it out to be. In fact, it is yet to present a sustainable source of revenue (1$ gifts can’t do it all). And if Microsoft has already locked up the pageviews, where do they go from there ?

I have to say as much as I love and respect Microsoft, Livebook doesn’t sound appealing to me.

I guess we’ll only have to see if Microsoft updates it’s relationship status from ‘It’s complicated’ to ‘In a relationship’, and at what point will Yahoo update its ‘Looking for’ ?

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Facebook Extended Profile: A God send.

Facebook recently launched a profile cleanup utility which allows users to move applications to their ‘Extended profile’. While application developers are fuming and believe it decreases visibility of their applications, I am welcoming it with open arms. This is a huge pull back on part of Zuckerburg Inc from the MySpace-isque route they were headed on. While none of them started playing music or flash automatically, their presence meant it would take quite some time before you reach the wall. And no, this isn’t just high school users, it’s also people who’re too nice to ‘deny’ or ‘ignore’ requests.

While it still isn’t being used as much as I’d like it to be, there’s been a marginal improvement of some Facebook profiles, and it’s definitely a step forward.

Here’s hoping to cleaner Facebook profiles and lesser loading times.

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