This article was written by Douglas Idugboe and originally published on Smedio.
Facebook is the world’s leading “personal” social network and it’s fast approaching the 700 million user milestone. Similarly, LinkedIn rules the roost amongst “professional” networks, especially as a hiring tool and a B2B marketing weapon. Both networks have changed drastically over the last six months – Facebook had adopted a more business-friendly/ professional approach while LinkedIn is increasingly transforming to add a more personal touch.
LinkedIn now plans to step up the ante as it announced a new platform Wednesday which offers websites and developers easy tools to embed “recommend” buttons, company-profile boxes and contact widgets on third-party websites. The objective is clear – ring in more social changes and challenge Facebook’s growing control over online identity.
Facebook has been a great advocate for the Web 2.0 philosophy. Whether it’s likes, authentication on third-party sites or social sharing, Facebook has proved to be a game changer in more ways than one. And now LinkedIn seems to have caught the “Professional Web” fever as well.
LinkedIn recently announced its plans to introduce buttons for Share, Recommend as well as new profile widgets that show the LinkedIn profile of a company executive or website owner. The ‘Share’ button is an interesting concept as it lets users spread the news about a site or news story. LinkedIn is using this concept to let sites include a profile of companies and even display detailed information about a company. The idea is to disseminate information in a structured manner and make it accessible to multiple third-party websites.
Faster and more powerful
Though LinkedIn open API has existed since 2009, it failed to excite the developer community and never really took off. While some would accuse LinkedIn of copying Facebook features, I don’t think that’s the case.
LinkedIn says its new plugins will allow users to sign in with their LinkedIn account, view member profiles, view company profiles, recommend products, and do lots more.
Personal vs. Professional
The Facebook vs. LinkedIn battle has often been projected as the Personal vs. Professional war of social networks. However, things have changed drastically in recent times and it’s unfair to dub either of these two networks as a pure social or professional network. Gone are the days when you’d mention “social media’ and people would relate it either Facebook or Twitter only.
Though LinkedIn still ranks amongst the most valuable hiring tools, it’s firmly emerged as a way to develop connections that are more likely to positively impact you or your company in some or the other way.
Do you use Facebook, LinkedIn or both for your business and why? Do you think LinkedIn is trying to mould itself on the Facebook model? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.