Weeks after being taken over by Microsoft, business networking site LinkedIn has today announced that its sponsored inventory is now available to buy programmatically.

The announcement came in the form of a blog post by head of products, Russell Glass, clarifying that the site’s display ad inventory can now be acquired via the advertiser’s choice of open or LinkedIn’s Private Auctions.

“We currently have more than 4,000 premium brands enabled to run across our site to ensure customers can buy through the one that is best suited for their business,” commented Glass.   

100% programmatic

The new capability will allow advertisers to segment and target LinkedIn’s 433 million members, and could be interpreted as its first advance towards flaunting the mass of data available since its acquisition.

LinkedIn was unable to confirm what level of influence Microsoft had on the move, but it’s more than likely the software company was involved, having gone “100% programmatic” with its European ad inventory in November last year.

Assisted by ad tech company AppNexus, the initiative was lauded as a “tipping point” for digital advertising by the group’s president, Michael Rubenstein.

With display contributing to just 10% of LinkedIn’s total earnings – an entity which is heavily supported by Premium account holders and sponsored content – its new programmatic offering will be a play to ramp this up and engage companies looking to tap into the group’s niche of business interest.

“Our new programmatic buying option is further reinforcement of our commitment to help you deliver the best possible results every time you engage with us,” Glass said.