LinkedIn testing Premium Company Page subscription with AI-assisted content creation

LinkedIn -- the social platform that targets the working world -- has quietly started testing another way to boost its revenues, this time with a new service for small and medium businesses. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that it is working on a new LinkedIn Premium Company Page subscription, which -- for fees that appear to be as steep as $99/month -- will include AI to write content and new tools to grow follower counts, among other features to raise the profiles of the company using them.

The move is significant because it underscores how Microsoft-owned LinkedIn continues to diversify its business model -- while also trying to make itself more useful overall. For years LinkedIn has been the butt of many a joke about how it can feel like a cesspool of shameless self-promotion, or (cue nervous laughter) creepy when you realize the amount of data it can gather about what you do on there.

But as others have pointed out, LinkedIn has a prime opportunity right now. With so many changes underfoot on other social platforms and search engines -- where advertising and other algorithms dictate what users discover, and where disinformation runs riot -- LinkedIn has been looking to carve out a safer space, a place to have a social profile of record for the professionals and prosumers out there.

LinkedIn quietly started to post information describing its new Premium Company Page six days ago. The posts got almost no notice, but we stumbled on it ourselves, and it seems a marketing consultant did, too. Now LinkedIn has confirmed the details to TechCrunch.

"We’re always exploring new ways to enhance our customers’ experience and assist them in achieving their business goals. Currently, we're testing a new offering with small-to-medium business customers, called Premium Company Page, which is designed to help them attract customers, build credibility, and stand out to their audience. We look forward to sharing more soon," said Suzi Owens, senior director of communications at LinkedIn, in a statement.

Pricing for premium company pages is not immediately disclosed, but it appears admins of pages that are eligible for it can see it. This marketing consultant notes that the fees start at $99.99 per month per Page, reducing to $839.88 per Page for an annual subscription.

This new premium company page is the latest in a growing list of premium offerings that LinkedIn has crafted for organizations on the platform, mirroring the different usage and pricing tiers that it has built out for individuals and recruiters using the platform.

Other business-focused tiers include Premium Career for people on the job hunt, Premium Business for business intelligence, Sales Navigator for sales teams, Recruiter tiers for sourcing and hiring talent and LinkedIn Learning for professional development.

Taken together, Premium services are very big business for the company. In March, the company announced that Premium user subscriptions grew 25% year-on-year to $1.7 billion in 2023. Overall, the company made $15 billion that year, with its recruiting business accounting for $7 billion of that.

The Premium Company Page subscription in some ways will look very familiar, in that it taps into well-known LinkedIn mechanics.

Admins for the pages can review recent visitors -- if those visitors have not turned off the privacy setting, that is. (Public service reminder: it's on by default.) This can be used to subsequently invite those visitors to follow the page, regardless of their degree of connection (that previously would have been impossible to do for casual visitors who are not already connected within one degree of the company). Admins can also create "call to action" buttons with contact or website details displayed prominently at the top of the Page. Testimonials, which LinkedIn has really promoted as a feature on profile pages for individuals, also get a push here: Admins can display these prominently at the top of their premium pages.

The AI writing help, meanwhile, becomes one of the latest ways that LinkedIn is weaving more AI assistance into the platform, something it started to introduce last year, tapping Microsoft's ties to OpenAI.

Last but not least, with LinkedIn big on verification lately, a Page can get a golden badge with a premium subscription.