Sir Richard Branson, Most Followed Thought Leader on LinkedIn

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Famous business social network LinkedIn launched in October the option to follow thought leaders and, until now, there are 4 million followers of these influencers. In this period of time, these leaders have created more than 850 original posts, and LinkedIn is now launching new ways to discover their work and interact with them.

Sir Richard BransonThe most followed thought leader is Sir Richard Branson with 765.131 followers, with Barack Obama ranking second with 391.061 followers and Deepak Chopra MD (official) coming in third with 196.203 followers. Mitt Romney is fourth in this influencers’ top with 157.144 followers and Arianna Huffington completes the top five of thought leaders with 129.026 followers. The top ten most influential people on LinkedIn is completed by Anthony (Tony) Robbins (Chairman at Anthony Robbins Holdings, Inc.), Jeff Weiner (CEO at Linkedin), Ari Emanuel (Co-CEO at William Morris Endeavor), T. Boone Pickens (Founder, Chairman and CEO at BP Capital and TBP Investments Management) and Reid Hoffman (Entrepreneur. Product Strategist. Investor).

The list of these influencers has been continuously expanded, and perhaps they will still add more important people in the future. In fact, at the bottom of the page with listing all leaders you have a link where you can find out how you can become a thought leader.

LinkedIn announced today a new leaderboard which lists these influencers based on the number of their followers. Also, the social network allows its users to sort influencers based on most recent posts or alphabetically, and to have access to posts published by leaders followed.

The idea of this thought leaders “section” is to provide users with “more value from LinkedIn by accessing the incredible insights and information directly from some of the most recognized and influential professionals on LinkedIn”. It is not a bad idea, as many people are interested in reading what important people in different areas have to say. Of course, on the other hand, no famous businessman or politician will ever friend everyone who sends a request– so these follow options look a lot like the “Subscribe” one in Facebook.

If we look at the top right now, it is easy to see that it is influenced by the political event of the moment – elections in the USA – as both Obama and Romney are present, with Obama having more followers than his contra-candidate. Richard Branson, always in the spotlight of the media, ranks first in this top as well, and Arianna Huffington, a media legend and founder of HuffingtonPost.com is also present. However, we should indeed notice the big difference in follower numbers between the first thought leader and the second one – almost 400,000. Perhaps this top will change in time and reflect other important international events or start favoring people who post relevant content constantly.

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