LinkedIn has recently launched a special group for accountants that is already attracting a growing group of accountants.

The LinkedIn Accounting group quietly launched on February 17 and has quickly grown to nearly 500,000 members, led by LinkedIn content editor Chip Cutter, a former business news reporter at the Associated Press. The Mountain View, Calif.-based social networking site has over 150 million members in over 200 countries and territories, and the LinkedIn Accounting group has been attracting comments from members in the U.K., Canada and other countries in addition to the U.S.

“Accounting was one of three groups chosen for this initial phase because it's an industry that has significant presence on LinkedIn and also aligns well with our editors' knowledge base,” said LinkedIn spokesperson Erin Fors. The other two industries are commercial real estate and entertainment.

“In looking at the industries not represented across the over 1 million user-created groups on LinkedIn, we noticed there was a sizable number of members who self-identified in the accounting, real estate, and entertainment industries so those are the three industries that were selected for this initial test,” said Fors. “Currently there are just over 490K professionals in the accounting group.”

LinkedIn is indeed used by an increasing number of accountants. In an Accounting Today poll asking whether visitors to the site were using LinkedIn, 80 percent of the respondents said yes and 20 percent said no, as of Friday.

Fors added that it’s too soon to say which other industries LinkedIn will focus on next, but the company is encouraged by the responses it has seen so far from the initial groups it has created.

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