Is it too late for LinkedIn to catch Facebook?


As far as I’m concerned, the answer is yes. But I still think it’s interesting to see that LinkedIn is planning to open its network in what appears to be an attempt to “platformize” it the way Facebook did — at least according to a tip that the site All Facebook got (and to a report from Dan Farber at ZDNet). Will it work? Who knows. But I think without it, LinkedIn is probably doomed to be the new Friendster, or at least to be overtaken by Facebook.

snipshot_e4q5×7l4e89.jpgIn a way, I think Facebook is what LinkedIn could have been if it had taken a different road, and tried to become more of a social network — instead of just a series of digital business cards linked by dotted lines, with no real functionality apart from sending an email (I already know how to do that, thanks). In fact, LinkedIn often seems to spend as much of its time preventing you from doing things as it does actually helping you to do things. Or perhaps there was no way for LinkedIn to have become anything like Facebook, since LI started from the business end of the social curve and Facebook started at the university student end — a much better place to start a foundation, I think.

MG Siegler thinks Facebook should buy LinkedIn, which is not a bad idea (Ashkan ponders this as well). And Dave Winer has an interesting suggestion: someone should not only open up their network, but become the operator of a digital identity service — OpenID style — that could be used anywhere. Jeremiah Owyang has some thoughts along those lines as well. Maybe if Facebook tried that, it might get a better reception than the times Microsoft has tried to do something along those lines.

Comments (3)

  1. Alex Beamish wrote::

    Very good point .. when I think of Facebook, I think of twenty-somethings sharing their photos and favourite campgrounds. LinkedIn is more of a corporate/networking thing, and that’s it — a solution looking for a problem.

    If LinkedIn and MeetUp could get together, that would be a great combination — I’ve sent out feelers to some of my LinkedIn connections about getting together, but it hasn’t happened yet.

    Are there any numbers available on the LinedIn network so that we can compare them to Facebook?

    Monday, June 25, 2007 at 10:03 am #
  2. Chad D. wrote::

    LinkedIn is reacting to a new (better) breed of platforms on the rise. They’ve been resting on their laurels (first to market) for too long. People (particularly small businesses) are more interested in a site that provides real value-add for their business. Having 11 million ‘resumes’ on file does nothing to help me grow my business and drive traffic to my website.

    Check out Fast Pitch!. They are already the Facebook of business networking.

    Fast Pitch! offers an interactive platform / layout designed to help people promote their business by allowing them to make connections, post press, promote blogs, attend events, and more.

    Here’s a good comparison chart of some of the major platforms out there:

    Chad D.

    Monday, June 25, 2007 at 4:24 pm #
  3. LinkedIn is great. I don't know what else to say.

    Friday, May 8, 2009 at 10:24 am #