LinkedIn hits 45 millions Signups

August 12th, 2009 | by Jason Alba |

Not sure why this hit TechCrunch… I thought the BIG news would be in a couple/few months when they hit 50M.

Is this a big milestone, nonethless, and I’m happy to congratulate LinkedIn (congrats LinkedIn!).

Mr. ReinkeFJ says in his comment:

Unfortunately, (I hate to be the grinch), but that doesn’t mean there are 45M people there. There are all sorts of “dead” profiles, fake ones, and multiple personalities as well. I did a whole taxonomy on them. And, LINKEDIN has little motivation to clean them up or even help you figure out which is which. So there is definitely room for “NIDEKNIL”, a competitor, to elbow their way in.

I totally agree with his statement that there aren’t 45 million people there… check out my thoughts on signups vs. users vs. upgrades.

A question that comes to mind is “SO WHAT?  Facebook has a gazillion users signups.”  Seems to leave LinkedIn in the dust, doesn’t it?

I hardly think so.  TechCrunch commenters are not very kind to LinkedIn, indicating it is tired, boring, useless, etc.  But that crowd tends to go towards the glossy flashy social stuff.  LinkedIn isn’t made to be glossy or flashy or, until recently, flashy.

The argument that LinkedIn is losing to Facebook is like saying, well, apples are losing to oranges.

The two networks started out with different purposes, different audiences, and very different features.

As time has gone on the lines have grayed, but I still see distinctions in purpose, audience and features.

I think Facebook grew so fast because of the viral marketing and sharing, etc.  Vampire bites (who needs them), photo albums and the such helped Facebook grow faster as people signed up to get poked and participate in lame polls.  They wanted to share personal information with (real) trusted friends and family (well, not family at first!).

LinkedIn grew slower because it had virtually zero appeal to 14 year olds, stay-at-home people, retired people, students who don’t think about career stuff, etc.

It was indeed more boring.  Still is.

However, once again, the purpose is different.  And LinkedIn owns the professional network space.

It could change, but they are, for now, the 800lb guerilla.  Good luck to anyone changing that.

Facebook could challenge LinkedIn, but they have some changing to do.

Again, congrats to LinkedIn for this minor milestone – I’ll be happy to offer a heartier congrats at 50M!!

  1. One Response to “LinkedIn hits 45 millions Signups”

  2. By reinkefj on Aug 12, 2009 | Reply

    Respectfully, I think the “so what” of the LinkedIn “deadwood” is that there is a significant number of folks — both on and off linkedIn — who might be willing to try a “twin” that does some key things differently. A group of odd balls like myself have posited the twin might be labeled “NIDEKNIL”. (A mirror image from Superman’s Bizzaroworld.) The way that LinkedIn treats its paying customers, the groups, and the limits on contacts are all entry point for someone to come in a compete with LinkedIn. No one can conceive of a competitor. Until that competitor “becomes the overnight sucess”. IBM mainframes to the PC. Altavista to Google. AOL to the internet in general. Closed platforms can be blown away by an open competitor. Lock in the user, like LinkedIn and Facebook, can become their own jail cell. Just the thoughts of another blogger, :-) fjohn

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