ok, so i'm starting the rumor.
(note: i'm not talking about the hiring app they already launched).
whether or not it's true, it's what LinkedIn
should be doing... along with fixing LinkedIn Groups, creating an API & Platform, and adding pictures to profiles, but i digress.
if they don't, someone else will. In fact, i'd bet money no less than three guys/girls in garages are working on it right now. (hell it's probably already live on Facebook right now... i haven't checked).
and while it may seem ludicrous to suggest that a business-focused Facebook app could come out of nowhere to challenge LinkedIn's business-networking juggernaut, given recent Facebook growth rates & Facebook app adoption rates, i don't think it's a complete impossibility.
but even if i'm wrong, and competition isn't a motivational reason, LinkedIn should still do it anyway... why? here are three reasons:
- IT'S THE FASTEST WAY TO GROW THEIR USER BASE & DEMOGRAPHIC.
- IT'S THE FASTEST & CHEAPEST WAY TO BUILD A LINKEDIN PLATFORM.
- THEY ARE BEST-POSITIONED & MOST CAPABLE TO DO IT.
[disclaimer: i'm a huge LinkedIn user & fan. i know many folks who work there, and they are wonderful & talented people. really, some of the best / smartest around. i was an early (user #1,350) & regular user and still use it weekly, often daily. and to be clear: nothing i'm writing here comes from any specific knowledge of what they're up to or any conversations i've had. it's just what i think they should do, from both user perspective & as an entrepreneur.]
some observations that lead me to this conclusion:
- Observation 1: LinkedIn is still the natural place for me to go to do business-related networking activities. I still used my LinkedIn profile as the most richly-described business information profile about me and it serves as my online resume / project history.
- Observation 2: however, i've been getting a lot more Facebook invites lately from people i would normally have expected to send me LinkedIn invites, and i'm occasionally using Facebook to do business-oriented networking & communication activities. i'm sure i'm not the only one whose business behavior is shifting a little bit.
- Observation 3: if LinkedIn *does* ignore this as a new user acquisition opportunity -- and also, a user *engagement* deepening opportunity -- then there is certainly room for a contender to jump on Facebook & differentiate just enough from normal LinkedIn featureset / demographic to get a foothold.
So i could expound on this subject in more detail, but i think that's enough to outline the threat, and the opportunity.
Dan, Reid: hope you guys already have this one on the chalkboard.
UPDATE: re: #2 above, Jeff Pulver has decided to move all his business networking from LinkedIn to Facebook. have to wait & see whether others follow suit, but certainly worth watching.