LinkedIn vs. Facebook: GAME ON!!

July 11th, 2012 | by Jason Alba |

You’ll regularly see LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter and Google+ (and whoever else that is relevant) position themselves a bit differently so that they can compete in slightly different spaces.

You know, like they say LinkedIn is like going to a formal dinner party, and Facebook is like going to a casual hang-out gathering.

They say LinkedIn is for professional relationships and Facebook is for personal relationships.

This has worked for a few years as people have tried to figure out where to spend their time.  LinkedIn has kind of stayed true to their place in the social space, even though they have introduced some non-business things.  And Facebook has kind of stayed out of the business networking space (although some of the third party apps have taken them there).

In what I’d call a blatant line-crossing, Facebook has (finally) decided to seriously move into LinkedIn’s territory: job postings. (saw this from Dan Schawbel on Facebook last week)

Now, LinkedIn will shout from the rooftops that they are not a job board, and they are much more than a resource for job seekers and recruiters.

But it’s pretty clear to just about everyone that they are the new Monster.  Not necessarily a job board, but they play a significant role in the job/career world.

As they’ve inched closer to being a job seeker resource, they are kind of moving out of the “business person” space… not intentionally, I’m sure.

A move like this by Facebook, which I think is long overdue, is kind of like going head-to-head with LinkedIn’s main thing.

I am not sure it will work. I think LinkedIn has done a great job positioning themselves and have enough differentiation that they can withstand this type of attack.

And, I think Facebook continues to do beyond-idiotic stuff to the users (although Facebook users whine about it, they don’t leave… the whiners are less than gnats on the Facebook windshield).

But this will be very interesting to watch.  Will it have an impact on LinkedIn’s business/revenues/users? I think it will.

The question now is, what will LinkedIn do?  Will they become MORE focused on professional networking and careers, or will they be more open and try to become more like Facebook?

Don’t forget the pink elephant: SIZE.  Facebook is at our around 1 billion signups (not users, mind you), and LinkedIn is at our around 170 Million signups (not users, mind you).

In other words, LinkedIn is around 20% or less the size of Facebook.  Might not matter since it’s apples and oranges (not all users are created equal – age, demographics, location, professional interests, purpose for being on the site, etc.).  But still, that size difference is amazing.

What do you think?

  1. 4 Responses to “LinkedIn vs. Facebook: GAME ON!!”

  2. By Fred Dempster on Jul 17, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry – I absolutely do not see FB in the “jobs” space – - size does not matter, LI is professional, FB is not.

  3. By Jason Alba on Jul 18, 2012 | Reply

    I do see it. FB’s crowd is hanging out, and sharing stuff… and talking about and sharing jobs is something they can do. If they had the same size of “users” that LinkedIn has, I’d tend to side with you more, but they are really infringing on what has traditionally been LI’s space (which, of course, was Monster’s space, etc.).

  4. By Diana Schneidman on Jul 20, 2012 | Reply

    The experts say the best jobs are not posted online. In particular, they are not posted on the big, general job sites.

    So if FB posts jobs in such a way that they are easily searched by all FB users, it will be even less useful than Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.

    -Diana

  5. By Jason Alba on Jul 20, 2012 | Reply

    @Diana, I kind of agree with you. I think the social element will somehow make this more than just a job board. I think this will help “hidden jobs” show up… the reason is because anyone can post an opening. Right now, some Regular Joe isn’t going to go to Monster and pay the hundreds of dollars (?) to post a job… but if FB makes it easy for Regular Joe to post a job they just learned about, or to share a job their company posted, it can help let others who are close to you (on FB) know about it in a way that tranditional job boards aren’t.

    I’m not a fan of “easy” … I agree with you that if this is too easy it’s going to (1) be flooded with crap, and (2) allow for everyone to apply, thus complicating things on the company/recruiter end. Too many relevant resumes/responses.

    Finally, a more down-to-earth issue is whether the job board model “works.” I’m not really debating that here… what I’m talking about more is that if LinkedIn is becoming a glorified Monster, and FB comes along and does this, how does that affect LinkedIn’s position in the space/market?

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