Recently I succumbed and finally joined FaceBook, mostly due to distant family members who are using it and aren’t interested in Twitter.
One interesting result was when hearing from ex employees and coworkers who live thousands of miles from me that I’d lost touch with … although they found me on FaceBook, many simply messaged me to instead connect with them via email, or via LinkedIn.
Although I’d understood that LinkedIn was oriented more to professionals, I had not realized how many people I know use it. I’ve been the recipient of many “please join my LinkedIn network” emails from real estate agents, headhunters, and vendors, so until recently in my mind it was little more than spam.
There’s an article on John Bell’s blog here that talks about the personal versus professional social networks, and some of the new competition they are seeing. I’ve just started reading his blog (after he was a guest post on Influential Marketing), looks like it might be interesting.
… the real shoot-out is happening in the “professional networks.” Yahoo launched Kickstart recently which aspires to helping college grads begin their professional networking experience and get those first jobs. That puts them up against Linked In (Yahoo would say that Kickstart provides a network for those who haven’t established their professional network yet). It will also put them up against the evolving use of Facebook …
And here is the Marketing Pilgrim blog with another perspective on the LinkedIn versys FaceBook competition.
… While it may appear that LinkedIn has no answer to the recent surge of people moving to Facebook for their business networking, the company has quietly worked behind the scenes to revamp itself …
So far I agree with John that they are very different tools… I’m not going to use LinkedIn for connecting to family and friends, but I can already tell it’s a level of magnitude better for business connections with people outside your existing social network. It will be interesting to see what the bigger players do in this niche in the coming year.