LinkedIn Follows Facebook

by Sachin Balagopalan on June 25, 2007 · Comments


Well it was only a matter of time and now LinkedIn, the business networking site has decided to follow in the footsteps of Facebook and open up it’s doors to the world. This is the lead story on Techmeme today . I was a little surprised however because I could have bet that MySpace would have been the first one, post Facebook to open up its platform to third party developers. What’s not surprising is LinkedIn is definitely feeling the heat and as a result was probably forced to act right now in order sure up its position as “the” business networking site. They will be delivering the API’s within the next nine months per reports on the blogosphere.

It will be quite interesting to see how LinkedIn executes this strategy and I’ll be curious to see if they are going to maintain that niche in the business networking space. Nick O’Neill also posts on this topic, and has quite an interesting take on the whole thing. Although I agree with Nick that lately most of the professional contact requests have been via Facebook I think most of them are a result of a combination of curiosity, novelty and yes even a little blogosphere hype. In my opinion when the dust settles down Facebook will always be stigmatized as a “college/fun/social” networking site or at least that’s where its lineage was derived from.

LinkedIn needs to take that into account as it opens up its platform and one way to do this is to set rigid parameters that will ensure only “serious” applications are allowed to be published in the library. They need to continue to maintain their status as the premier professional networking site but at the same time they need to evolve. It’s all going to depend on how they execute their strategy. LinkedIn can easily leverage its current status as the premier professional networking site by partnering with other companies to provide enterprise business networking for example. They can provide the tools to enable companies to setup their own customized social networking sites with applications that are conducive to the business they’re in. The bottom line is LinkedIn needs to define a clear road map as to what they want to accomplish by opening up to the masses. If it is simply to retaliate because they see Facebook as a threat then I think their fate is probably sealed.

The battle has definitely begun and it’s definitely going to be interesting.


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