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LinkedIn ‘Playing With’ the Addition of Games to Its Platform

LinkedIn says it is exploring a gaming element for its employment networking platform.

“We’re playing with adding puzzle-based games within the LinkedIn experience to unlock a bit of fun, deepen relationships, and hopefully spark the opportunity for conversations,” a spokesperson told PYMNTS Sunday (March 17). “Stay tuned for more!”

The news was first reported Saturday (March 16) by TechCrunch, which noted that LinkedIn seems to be aiming to tap the “puzzle-mania” that helped games like Wordle — now owned by The New York Times — go viral.

According to that report, app researchers have begun uncovering code that illustrates the work LinkedIn is doing. One researcher, Nima Owji, said one idea LinkedIn appears to be tinkering with involves player’s scores being organized by workplace, with businesses being ranked according to those scores.

LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft, whose ownership of Xbox and Activision Blizzard make it a gaming titan. Earnings from the company’s games sector came to $7.1 billion, more than Microsoft made from Windows, a first for the company.

Per TechCrunch, LinkedIn declined to say how Microsoft is involved in the networking platform’s gaming efforts, or if it was involved at all.

However, LinkedIn does give Microsoft a massive opportunity to grow its gaming business, as the platform announced last year it had surpassed 1 billion users.

Earlier this month, LinkedIn Chief Operating Officer Dan Shapero said the company earned $1.7 billion in revenue in 2023, with its premium subscribers increasing by 25%.

This uptick was driven in part by LinkedIn’s integration of members-only features that include artificial intelligence (AI) tools designed to improve user experience and the platform’s job hunting/recruitment offerings.

Last year also saw reports that Microsoft was in talks with partners to launch a mobile gaming store that would compete with similar stores run by Apple and Google.

Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox video game division, revealed the company’s plans during an interview at the CCXP comics and entertainment convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Although he provided no specific launch date, Spencer said the store was probably not “multiple years away,” per a Bloomberg News report. “I think this is sooner than that.”