The news: LinkedIn is rolling out support for Hindi, a language spoken or understood by more than 600 million people globally, per Insider.
How we got here: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with 800 million members in 200 countries. The company has been unable to saturate India—the world’s second-largest internet market—because less than 20% of its population of 1.3 billion people speaks English.
- Hindi is the first Indian regional language to be supported by the social network.
- LinkedIn’s mobile apps and website will enable users to access their feeds, profiles, and messages in Hindi.
- LinkedIn said it currently has over 82 million users in India. The country accounts for just 6% of over 1.3 billion monthly visits.
- LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, shut down its operations in China in October due to the “challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements.” China was LinkedIn’s third-largest market, with 54 million users, but made up less than 2% of Microsoft’s revenues, according to Microsoft President Brad Smith.
The opportunity: By adding the Hindi language in its apps and website, LinkedIn can quickly amplify its presence in India and gain access to over half a billion global users, offsetting its losses in China.
- Other companies are following suit. Apna, a startup job site in India, conducted a survey that revealed 57% of users in India prefer using their native language over English.
- There are various job websites in India, but none that integrate the social networking aspect to the degree that LinkedIn does.