Is LinkedIn trying to become the next Facebook?
Is it just me or has anyone else noticed what’s been going on with LinkedIn lately?
Here are a few of my recent observations and thoughts.
First, I’m noticing that posts on LinkedIn are becoming more personal and less professional.
What did for me this week was when someone posted their engagement photo on LinkedIn and said they knew it wasn’t professional but were happy and wanted to share it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against either being happy or getting married. I know many who are in both states, frequently simultaneously.
But, is LinkedIn really the right medium for this?
Has anyone else noticed the proliferation of brain teasers and such on LinkedIn of late?
(Although, I might feel differently about this one if I saw my personal favorite, chess puzzles, posted.)
Or, the unending stream of congratulations that begin to flow whenever someone has a service anniversary?
Then there are Groups.
Unless they are well moderated they seem to becoming very “spammy.”
I base this observation anecdotally on Twitter Chats that I participate in.
More and more people saying that they’re being turned off from groups by their poor quality.
I can’t help think of that long lost feature of LinkedIn called Answers that was discontinued because of its declining usefulness.
Finally, how about that good friend we all have on LinkedIn who insists on reposting the lead article from the Wall Street Journal everyday regardless of its relevancy or the fact that we’ve all seen it a million times anyway.
Of course, LinkedIn adding features such as “Likes,” timelines, or sponsored ads just adds to the similarities with Facebook.
What does all this mean for LinkedIn?
I think it means that they need to think long and hard as they try to find their business model in the very dynamic arena of social media.
LinkedIn is becoming more social than business, it’s original premise.
LinkedIn members are beginning to take notice and are starting to complain.
Becoming more like Facebook may seem like a strategy for LinkedIn yet…
Facebook doesn’t have, or seem to need, a tiered series of premium memberships that they’re always steering members towards.
People seem to be on Facebook all the time.
Unfortunately. many people only think about LinkedIn right after they’ve lost their jobs.
(Which has many premium members of LinkedIn complaining about sending Inmails to members whose profiles are seriously out of date.)
Facebook is in the media constantly.
When was the last time LinkedIn was on the evening news let alone have a movie made about them?
My point in all this is that LinkedIn needs to tread carefully here.
LinkedIn is a very powerful and useful tool if used correctly and if developed properly by its management.
It should be an important part of a social media program.
There is a perception starting to develop that LinkedIn drew everyone in and collected their information on the assumption that free functionality would be available and useful and that it would be a professional network for business use only.
If LinkedIn wants to play with that formula then I’d recommend that they take a look at Google.
If a deep pocketed player like Google is backing away from its foray into social networks with Google+ then I think LinkedIn should think long and hard about its next steps.
That’s it for now!
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