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LinkedIn doubles down on India with Hindi language support a month after pulling out of China

LinkedIn will show the user profile, interface, and created content in Hindi after making the requisite changes in settings.

Microsoft-owned professional networking platform LinkedIn announced that it is now available in Hindi, the first Indian regional language supported by the platform.

Less than 20 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people speak English and that’s the reason why most major social networking platforms have supported Hindi and other regional Indian languages for a while now, but LinkedIn was a notable exception. Now with Hindi support, the platform hopes to double down on its growth in India where over 500 million people speak the language.

“India is a core market for growth at LinkedIn and the second largest market in terms of members after the US, accounting for 82 million members as part of a global community of 800 million members. India’s member base has grown by 20+ million in the past three years (15% year-over-year growth) and it has witnessed a spike in engagement and conversations on the platform since the pandemic.” – LinkedIn

Interestingly, this development comes a month after LinkedIn pulled out of China after failing to make room for itself in the country’s tightly regulated and censored social media market.

“We have witnessed high engagement and member growth in the last year, and it is at this exciting inflection point that we are strengthening our vision to create economic opportunity for ‘every’ member of the workforce, and taking down language barriers for Hindi speakers across the world.” – Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn.

LinkedIn in Hindi will compete with local professional networking platforms like Apna, which is presently available in 10 Indian languages. According to a recent survey conducted by Apna, 57 percent of users in India preferred using a vernacular interface over English.

“The comfort and familiarity of interacting in their first language builds confidence and enables our users to find hyperlocal opportunities with ease.” – Manas Singh, Chief Business Officer, apna.co told The Hindu.

What changes for LinkedIn users?

  • User interface: When users choose to use LinkedIn in Hindi, the user interface, including the navigation bar, will be displayed in Hindi.
  • User profile: Members can choose to create their LinkedIn profile in Hindi. This will “make it easier for Hindi speaking members and recruiters to find them for relevant opportunities,” the platform said. Members who already have a profile in English can add a second language profile in Hindi.
  • Translation for user-generated content: Other user-generated content, such as posts, will be displayed in the language that they were originally created in, but members who have set Hindi as their primary language will now see a translation option.
  • Creating Hindi content: To create Hindi content, members will have to use a Hindi keyboard on their smartphone or desktop.
  • What next? “As the next step, LinkedIn will work towards widening the range of job opportunities available for Hindi speaking professionals across industries, including more banking, and government jobs,” the company said.
  • Setting Hindi as preferred language: To use the LinkedIn app in Hindi on smartphones, users will have to select Hindi as their preferred device language under phone settings. On desktop, users can set select Hindi as the preferred language in Site Preferences.
  • Availability: LinkedIn in Hindi is currently available to all members globally on Desktop and Android, and will gradually roll out to iOS users, the company said.

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