LinkedIn creates audience network

LONDON - LinkedIn, the business-oriented social network, has launched an audience network that allows advertisers to target individual LinkedIn users across hundreds of websites.

The site has joined ad network Collective Media to create the LinkedIn Audience Network, which lets advertisers target specific sections of LinkedIn users.

Advertisers can target LinkedIn's so-called inCrowds - pre-defined and scalable audience segments such as Corporate Executives, Small Business Professionals and IT Professionals - or they can work with LinkedIn to define their own custom audience segments.

The LinkedIn Audience Network allows advertisers to extend their reach and build frequency across a wider set of sites.

Steve Patrizi, LinkedIn's director of advertising sales, said: "The message we hear from advertisers is simple: they want mass reach against specific segments of decision-making professionals and they want their ads to appear in quality environments."

Earlier this month, business news channel CNBC and LinkedIn formed an alliance designed to share content and jointly develop new products.

Under the deal, CNBC content will be distributed across the LinkedIn network, while LinkedIn networking functionality will be linked into CNBC.com.