Linkedin + Facebook= Face-off or Linkbook?

June 26, 2007 at 3:03 pm 5 comments

Linkedin recently announced that they will open up their platform for developers to create a Facebook application, and to become more interactive. Will both platforms start flowing into each other, and thereby make one obsolete? If this would be the case, Facebook would probably be the winner because of its broader scope (see TechCrunch).

Do we actually want the two to become one? It could be handy to only have to log into one social networking site, but do we only have or need one social network? Facebook – for me in any case – is all about hooking up with mates and old friends, staying in touch and interacting loosely, getting to know the friends of friends, writing silly stuff on each other’s walls. The profiles are in many case personal and somewhat private. Linkedin is more professionally oriented, serving as an online cv, a job network, a way to see what your friends and peers are up to professionally. It’s the same issue as inviting your boss to your birthday party, or introducing your family to your colleagues: I don’t necessarily need all of my Facebook friends to be Linkedin connections, and not all of my Linkedin connections need to be my Facebook friends.

If anything, there should be a Facebook app that allows you to add your friends to your Linkedin network, and Linkedin itself should become more interactive (see the interesting article by Alex Iskold in January) so you can meet strangers from other networks (like in those Facebook groups dedicated to Linkedin). I believe the two can coexist peacefully and blend into each other to a certain extent. The main challenge for Linkedin will be to create functionality to stay ahead of the competition – not just Facebook but also MySpace and local professional networks.

What do you think about this? Do you use Facebook and/or Linkedin in a different way?

More articles about this can be found on Read/Write web and Mashable.


Entry filed under: Facebook, Internet, Life, Linkedin, news, social networks.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa  |  June 27, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    I think I have room for both Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook is really more “personal” for me and LinkedIn is more “professional.”

    I personally think that the personal/professional thing is getting old. I make “professional” connections on both. My LinkedIn profile will tell you what I do for a living but my FB profile will tell you what kind of conversations you might have with me if say we were at a networking event, just chit-chatting and not necessarily talking shop.

  • 2. James Guske  |  July 1, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    It’s hard to maintain many profiles. Can’t we just have one underlying social graph and companies such as Linkedin or Facebook have applications or websites that add their special value to the user?

  • 3. youretime  |  July 4, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    @ James: You mean a total solution, in which all profiles are incorporated as features? Sounds like a great idea – how long do you think it will take to make it?

  • 4. James Guske  |  July 9, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    I don’t see why not have a decentralized database of a social graph similar to bittorrent. Each of us contributes to the system rather than relying on advertising to fund the operation. A company such as MySpace or Facebook could add value as a service.

    The underlying network from the community should be the platform API, not the other way around. It might be a long time before this is considered. Sort of a GPL for social networking.

  • 5. cronky  |  October 15, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Interesting, it funny I thought about creating a LinkedBook application for FB which would tie the 2 together but considered that Linkedin would probably frown upon it! Also I doubt the Linkedin has an API (yet – by the sounds of things it will come early 2008!)


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