This month will mark LinkedIn’s 20th birthday, with the world’s largest professional social network originally launching back in May of 2003. LinkedIn is the oldest remaining Social Media platform, even pipping MySpace (which still technically exists) by a few months, with the platform’s steady focus on building a space for professional communications helping it to establish a clear niche that has endured more popular shifts.

2 Decades of Linking

To celebrate the milestone, the team from LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions team has put together this infographic which maps out key achievements and releases in LinkedIn ads, providing some interesting perspective on just how far the platform has come in 20 years. Want more details about LinkedIn’s 20 years of ad evolution, you can check them out here.

LinkedIn first introduced ads in 2005, taking 6 years before it achieved another milestone, which was hitting 100 million members in 2011. The following year, in 2012, LinkedIn launched its ‘Ads Blog’. For the next decade, the only year that LinkedIn didn’t have a significant achievement was 2015.

Historical timelines are pretty self-explanatory, so instead of breaking down each milestone, let’s take a look at some of the most notable ones and talk about their implications. LinkedIn really began taking off when it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016. In the same year, the platform launched LinkedIn Account Targeting, forming the contemporary backbone of present-day LinkedIn.

If we look at 2020, which was pretty much a big year for everyone and everything, LinkedIn decided to launch Conversion Ads, along with LinkedIn Live and Product Pages. While that may not reveal much, understand that 2020 marked a big leap in digital connectivity and virtual tasking. LinkedIn was able to capitalize on the emerging trends and shifts at the time, establishing new processes that would align well with all the changes that were happening.

Fast forward to 2023, and LinkedIn now has around 900 million members. Given how the year isn’t over yet, there’s much more to wait and see from LinkedIn. But as noted by multiple reports since 2021, LinkedIn continues to see ‘record levels of engagement’ on almost all fronts, spelling well for the platform’s future.

The Wrap

LinkedIn continues to grow and evolve and its timeline serves as a testimony to its journey, which had humble roots back in the early 2000s, preceding Facebook’s 2004 founding. LinkedIn has since come a long way from small beginnings but has retained much of its original essence, which can’t be said for most of the other Social Media platforms that were created around the same era. In a way, and despite not wanting to associate itself as being a ‘Traditional Social Media Platform’, LinkedIn, ironically, remains one of the truer Social Media-fuelled platforms that has showcased tremendous development throughout its run, but without straying too far from its original purpose. LinkedIn remains in control of the top trends and adapts to changes in user behavior, instead of it being the other way around.