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?