LinkedIn, which counts India as one of its key growth markets, on Thursday announced the launch of Hindi language on its platform, paving way for more local users to navigate the professional networking app. The launch of Hindi, which is also the first Indian regional language to be introduced on the platform stands to benefit about 600 million speakers of the language globally, according to the company. LinkedIn says it “aims to break down language barriers, providing greater access to professional and networking opportunities to Hindi speakers in India and around the world,” with this launch.

A host of tech firms are adding a series of vernacular languages on their platforms to solve the problem of access. India, home to scores of people conversing in a diverse set of languages, presents a huge market opportunity for global companies. A very small proportion of users in the country can ably navigate the Internet and digital platforms in English. Google, for instance, announced a slew of India-specific initiatives last month aimed at bridging the digital gap and enabling democratised access to the Internet.

According to a recent study by local jobs and professional networking firm Apna.co, more than 57% of its users prefer a vernacular language to search for job opportunities and build their professional communities. After English, Hindi is the most popular language followed by Kannada and Tamil in the country.

As part of the phase one roll-out of LinkedIn in Hindi, members will be able to access their feed, profile, jobs, messaging, and create content in Hindi on desktop, and on their Android and iOS phones starting today. As the next step, the platform will work towards widening the range of job opportunities available for Hindi-speaking professionals across industries, including more banking, and government jobs. LinkedIn will also continue to add more Hindi publishers and creators in the coming weeks to boost member engagement and conversations in the language.

India is the second-largest market for LinkedIn 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 more than 20 million in the past three years, which translates into a 15% year-on-year growth. There has been a spike in engagement and conversations on the platform since the pandemic, according to the company.

“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,” says Ashutosh Gupta, India country manager, LinkedIn.

With the launch of Hindi, LinkedIn now supports 25 languages globally.

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