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Prior to today, only the likes of Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, or Ban Ki-moon could post extended content on LinkedIn. But starting Wednesday, LinkedIn said it was expanding the ability to publish content to the masses beyond its select group of “influencers.” In a blog post announcing the move, director of product management Ryan Roslansky said 25,000 users would initially gain access to the publishing tools, with more added over the next several months.

Why would LinkedIn want to join the plastisher ranks of Medium, BuzzFeed, and others? In his post, Roslansky said LinkedIn influencer posts typically generate a fair amount of traffic:

The average Influencer post drives more than 31,000 views and receives more than 250 likes and 80 comments. By any measure, this is a remarkably high level of engagement for digital content.

The average user obviously won’t drive that much traffic, but collectively they may help redefine how LinkedIn is perceived and attract more users — especially paying premium users — to LinkedIn, Mike Isaac at Recode argues.

LinkedIn wanted to escape the image of being a repository for resumes, a place that users visited only when they wanted to look for a new job or tweak the details on their existing one. In order to do that, LinkedIn had to provide users with a reason to return to the service on a daily basis.

It seems to be working. Monthly active users continue to grow, and active mobile users now account for 41 percent of the company’s overall traffic.

— Joseph Lichterman
                                   
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Joseph Lichterman    April 22, 2014
Four-year-old startup Benzinga is growing thanks to a free consumer site, a paid news wire, and online financial service marketplace.