LinkedIn membership accelerates past 50m

LONDON - Business social network LinkedIn has hit 50m members worldwide after adding one million in 12 days.

The network is seeing its fastest growth in India, where it now has almost 3m users.

The milestone was revealed on the US-headquartered company's blog by chief executive Jeff Weiner, who said: "LinkedIn has been global since inception -- about half of our total membership is international."

However, information on how many of its users are paying to use the site is guarded by the privately-held company, which was valued at $1bn last year when it raised $53m in a fundraising led by Bain Capital.

Rival network Xing, which is publicly quoted on the German stockmarket, had 635,000 paying members out of 7.91m total members as of the end of June this year.

Subscriptions accounted for almost 90% of its €10.8m first half revenues, with advertising contributing just €360,000.

Xing is focused on Europe, where LinkedIn claims it now has 11m users.

LinkedIn also brings in money from advertising and in September it launched the LinkedIn Audience Network, which makes non-personally identifiable data, such as industry, job function, seniority, company size, gender and geography, available to advertisers.