LinkedIn – what Microsoft gets, doesn’t get, and what’s ahead

Microsoft recently (June 13, 2016) announced it would be acquiring LinkedIn, the popular professional social network.

New MetaFacts research confirms that LinkedIn’s active members are indeed an attractive demographic, and yet there are headwinds ahead for Microsoft. Our recent Technology User Profile survey of over 10,000 respondents span the US, UK, France, Brazil, and China.

An attractive demographic

Active LinkedIn members stand head and shoulders above the average connected adult professional. In the US, they are 1.4 more likely than average to be employed full-time, and 1.6 times more likely than average to be a college graduate. They are also unique in their employment role, being 1.5 times as likely to be working in Marketing/Communications or in IT/IS, 1.4 times as likely to be a Specialist (e.g., design, engineering), 1.3 times a likely to be a contractor or IT Consultant, and 1.2 as likely to be an Executive or in an HR-related role. A similar pattern holds for the UK, France, Brazil, and China.

Microsoft’s ready access to this important population spells many opportunities for Microsoft, if managed well. With a service relying heavily on user-provided content, and with its members showing a high degree of sophistication, education, and strength, member trust and satisfaction will be especially vital to LinkedIn’s future.

Active Ad Blockers

To the extent Microsoft’s strategy involves increased advertising to LinkedIn members, it faces an existing and growing challenge. LinkedIn members are some of the world’s most advertising-averse. Forty-three percent of active US LinkedIn members use an Ad Blocker on at least one of their connected devices – PCs, Tablets, Smartphones – and in many cases have Ad Blockers on all of them. That is 1.3 times higher than the rate among the average connected adult. This is similar around the world – ranging from 1.1 to 1.5 times higher than average among active LinkedIn members in the UK, France, Brazil, and China.

Microsoft will need to continue to maintain the trust that active LinkedIn members have come to rely on. It’s possible they will whitelist ads on LinkedIn. It’s not as if LinkedIn has been specifically targeted by its members, it’s simply that its members are well above average in the practice of blocking ads across their devices. Adblocking has already been a significant challenge for media giants from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal as technology users increasingly take control over their experiences.

Apple-endearedApples and Apples

If part of Microsoft’s strategy is to encourage LinkedIn’s active members into (or back into) the Windows ecosystem, then it has a trend to reverse. LinkedIn’s active members are well-endeared and engaged with Apple’s devices and ecosystem. In the US, they are 1.8 times as likely as the average connected adult to be using four Apple OS devices, 1.5 times as likely to be using three, and 1.3 times as likely to be using two. Furthermore, LinkedIn’s members are 1.6 times as likely to be using an Apple mobile PC, 1.4 times as likely to be using an iPad, and 1.3 times as likely to be using an iPhone. This similar pattern holds true in the UK, France, Brazil, and China.

The Microsoft Graph

Major workplace activities used by active LinkedIn members per MetaFacts

Major workplace activities used by active LinkedIn members per MetaFacts

There’s another climb ahead for Microsoft – LinkedIn’s active members are already well on board with many of Microsoft’s types of professionally-oriented offerings, whether from Microsoft or competitors. So, growth ahead will be incremental, and less about mass introduction into new ways of working. With respect to these key workforce activities, this acquisition might be seen as a defensive retrenchment to hold off further encroachment by the likes of Google. At present, LinkedIn’s active US members are 1.8 times as likely as the average connected adult to already be using one of their connected devices to participate in a web-based group meeting, collaborate on work files, or create work graphics/presentations.

Other risks

Microsoft faces other risks. Imagine how a Google, Apple, or other leading-tech HR executive might consider Microsoft’s unprecedented access to their employees and projects. Any of Microsoft’s direct competitors are likely to have concerns about the depth and details Microsoft will have access to with the richness already in LinkedIn. Although Microsoft will undoubtedly take steps to reassure companies that their data is being held secure and not used directly for its own gain, trust will be a key concern for competitors. Some will likely step up their policies to prohibit or discourage user participation on LinkedIn.

The view ahead

At MetaFacts, where we directly measure active market demand, we contend that people matter first. If the members of LinkedIn feel their trust might be compromised, they may flee. Worldwide, there isn’t a single professional social network anywhere near the size or scope of LinkedIn. Rival xing has solid footing in German-speaking countries, while Viadeo is especially strong in France. Potentially, country-specific or language-specific competitors could grow, offering an independent haven for professional social networking. Instead of switching, members may trim their profiles, limit their participation, or simply cancel and close their profile.

Microsoft will need to reactivate the membership. In disclosures shared in the acquisition announcements, LinkedIn shared that of their reported 433 million members, 104 million were active within the prior month. This means less than one-fourth (24%) of its members are currently active. This low activity rate is the lowest of nine major US sites: Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Also, membership growth has increased faster than the share of members which are active, further highlighting the decline in member activity. Microsoft’s resources and support may help reverse those trends.

Source

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary from the Technology User Profile survey of adults throughout the US, UK, France, Brazil, and China. The results are based on a multi-country survey of over 10,000 representative respondents conducted by MetaFacts. Current TUP subscribers can obtain additional analysis and supporting datasets at a substantial discount. Technology companies who want to know more about their current or future customers can contact MetaFacts to learn how to subscribe to the rich resources of Technology User Profile.

 

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Filed under Cloud Storage, Communication, Demographics & Econographics, Market Research, Market Sizing, Social Networking, TUP 2015, TUPdate, Usage Patterns, Video calling

Forward-Leaning Users Define the Future

Cloud-based home security and energy management are on the cusp of either fizzling as a fad or expanding to a wider market, based on our recent MetaFacts market research. Also, the pattern consumers are exhibiting spells niche status for the Apple Watch, iPod and Chromebook.

In our analysis of a broad range of consumers spanning five countries, we separated the most forward-learning from the backward-learning, as one of our methods to predict the future of technology products and services. The most adventurous consumers point the way for the rest of the market, with their willingness to try the newest technology.Courtesy Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ Creative Commons

While Apple can justly lay claim to the Forward-Leaning for favoring many of their products. For example, iPhone and MacBooks are strongest among both the first and second tier of Forward-Leaning consumers. In contrast, many other products have lingered and languished among the forward-learning. Unless accepted by the next tier of consumers, a replacement market is the best hope for advanced tech products. Continue reading

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Filed under Backward-Leaning, Basic cell phones, Cloud Storage, Communication, Convertibles, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, e-Book Readers, Entertainment, Forward-Leaning, Market Research, Market Sizing, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2015, Usage Patterns

WhatsApp Brazilian Dance Step

Today a Brazilian judge ordered another stop to WhatsApp on Brazil’s smartphones, at least temporarily. (Source: Reuters May 2, 2016)
Creative Commons Courtesy Ed Yourdon
WhatsApp is a very popular communications app around the world, and especially strong in Brazil. According to the most recent wave of our Technology User Profile survey, 82% of Brazil’s connected adults have used WhatsApp in the prior 30 days.

While this means 70.4 million adults are affected, Brazil’s active WhatsApp users have other options. Among the other sites and apps which are actively used for communication and networking, 68% use InstaGram and nearly six in ten (58%) already actively use Skype. Another quarter (26%) use SnapChat and one-in-six (16%) use Viber.
Brazilian WhatsApp users are already in a good position to use other options. Only 1% of WhatsApp users are only using WhatsApp and not using Instagram, Skype, G+, SnapChat, or Viber.
whatsapp metafacts 2016-05-02_16-41-59

Furthermore, while 81% of WhatsApp users use a Smartphone, not all do. WhatsApp is also accessible on PCs. Among the many devices Brazilian WhatsApp adults regularly use, 98% access a PC, and many use more than one. Eight-one percent use 2 or more PCs. Just under half (47%) have a Tablet PC, with Android tablets outnumbering Apple’s iPads or Tablets running Windows.

With WhatsApp’s broad popularity, it’s not as if any particular Smartphone carrier is being singled out. Each carrier’s share among WhatsApp’s customer base is nearly identical to the total base, with TIM having twice the share of any other carrier, Claro (Embratel, NET Serviços) in second place, then followed by Oi SA (Telemar Norte Leste, Brasil Telecom) and Telefônica.

It’s also not as if these Brazilians will have their communication stymied. Ninety percent of WhatsApp users regularly send/receive personal email, 85% text message, 83% make/receive personal phone calls, and 49% participate in a personal web-based group meeting.

Looking ahead
Although legal events like these can cause big disruptions, tech users are resilient, especially Brazilians. Other communication-rich apps and sites such as Skype, G+, SnapChat and Viber will continue to increase their efforts to claim any bewildered or befuddled WhatsApp users. Meanwhile, Brazilian tech users will continue to juggle their many devices as well as the many ways that they already communicate.

Source
This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary from the Technology User Profile survey of adults throughout the US, UK, France, Brazil, and China. The results are based on a multi-country survey of over 10,000 representative respondents conducted by MetaFacts. Current TUP subscribers can obtain additional analysis and supporting datasets at a substantial discount. To license the full market research results, contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Behaviors and Activities, Communication, Desktops, Market Research, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Smartphones, Social Networking, TUP 2015

Which market segment has the highest share of employees using used/refurbished notebooks?

Do older notebooks have a life, and which market segment has the highest concentration?

Smaller companies – those with fewer than 100 employees – have the highest share of Used/Refurbished Notebook PCs in use – 17% or one in six. In businesses with 100 to 999 employees, the rate is lowest at 7%, and slightly higher for employees in organizations of 1,000 or more employees: 11%.

Source

These results are based on the most recent wave of Technology User Profile, the TUP 2014 edition. More can be found in the PCs chapter. The large-scale survey is in its 32nd continuous year, documenting and detailing the full scope of technology adoption and use.
For this MetaFAQs analysis, MetaFacts is sharing a portion of the answers to selected survey questions: specifically the PCs in active use, and whether the PC was acquired new or used/refurbished. The full TUP service includes further related details on the types and brands of PCs, segments and profiles of those who use PCs more than Smartphones and vice versa, detailed activities within each category and mapped to each PC, and much more. The TUP survey gathers comprehensive details about the active usage of many consumer electronics products, including Printers, e=Book Readers, Smartphones, Basic cell phones, and many other connected devices.

In addition to tracking PCs, Technology User Profile details the many devices which online adults use to regularly connect to the Internet. The survey-based research details what people do with their devices, where they spend their technology dollars, and how often they update (or don’t update) their technology products.

Technology companies who want to know more about technology adoption, wireless technology, or about their current or future customers can contact MetaFacts to learn how to subscribe to the rich resources of Technology User Profile.

MetaFAQs – Frequently Asked Questions with answers supported by the facts: the MetaFacts.

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Filed under Market Research, MetaFAQs, TUP 2014