A more appropriate term would be a “professional network”. It’s used to make and keep connections with other business professionals, find job opportunities, discover sales leads and seek out potential business partners.
Your profile includes information similar to what you would find on a resumé. Your current job, experience, education and a list of specific skills and expertise. You can update this information when needed – perhaps you’ve changed jobs or acquired a new skill.
It’s NOT about making friends, sharing photos, videos or music.
Linkedin is mostly free. It is for the business community so, of course, someone is going to be making money.
A basic (free) membership allows you to only establish connections (“connections” are akin to “friends” or “followers”) with someone you have worked with, know professionally or have gone to school with.
Connecting beyond the basic scope requires a premium subscription which starts to cost money.
I currently have 74 connections on Linkedin and will continue to make connections because I definitely see the value of maintaining a professional network.
I have a job right now but who knows what the future holds. If I ever do decide to move on (or if they decide for me) or maybe even launch my own enterprise, it’s a lot easier to “cold call” people you have actually had a positive business relationship with already. It just makes sense.