Posted by: rosler28 | July 4, 2007

Linkedin v Facebook: the generation divide

It’s pretty clear that Facebook and Linkedin will soon be fighting over the same internet territory. While at the moment Linkedin concentrates on business relationships and Facebook lends itself to friendship management there will be a time when Facebook will target more specifically the business market – if they don’t I’m sure some developer will in the Facebook system.

Currently Linkedin and Facebook signify a generational divide. Generally speaking those in their teens and twenties use Facebook, those in their thirties and above use Linkedin. Challenges for both systems:

  • Linkedin has to find a way of giving more functionality to the free service. The graded service model is standard marketing 101 but when there is a free alternative that is easier to use Linkedin has a problem.
  • Facebook has to be more relevant for business users. At the moment the site is geared for social not business networking, I’d suggest Facebook create a specific business section. Soon enough most of the college students will want to shift from social to business networking and if Facebook don’t adjust they may see slippage to Linkedin.

So challenges for both services to face, one final comment why isn’t there any buzz about Ecademy? If I were to compare Ecademy, Facebook and Linkedin I’d say Ecademy currently has the best platform which manages to straddle social and business functionality. Sure it’s not perfect but this is another example of an application that provides similar functionality to other so called ‘hot’ applications yet receives almost no buzz on the blogosphere, not sure why this is the case?

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Responses

  1. ‘if I were to compare Ecademy, Facebook and Linkedin I’d say Ecademy currently has the best platform which manages to straddle social and business functionality. Sure it’s not perfect but this is another example of an application that provides similar functionality to other so called ‘hot’ applications yet receives almost no buzz on the blogosphere, not sure why this is the case?’

    Ecademy spends virtually nothing on PR. LI and Facebook spend a large fortune on PR – remember ‘word of mouth’ or ‘buzz’ marketing costs!!

    Ecademy has suffered from its membership being mostly very small businesses and ‘one man bands’ running around trying to sell to each other. It has a very small but committed core membership but many users left citing the fact that it was mostly small guys trying to sell you something.

    I doubt Ecademy can ever really attract the Top Quality ‘C’ level managers such as Linked’in – but the clubs, meetings and coaching etc make it interesting for the ‘one man and a dog’ type businesses.

  2. Seeing business social networking as a Clash of the Titans between Linked’in and Facebook is a very Californian view of the World.

    That denies the reality of what is happening outside of the US (especially in countries where English is not your first language) and it also misses the point that there is room for many networks – probably four or five – simply because one network cannot be ‘all things to all people’.

    The same way you have different offline clubs – some which are private and others public, some free and others expensive, some candid and others secretive.

    We at Viadeo are seeing rapid growth across Europe and are often described by our members as being a cross between Linked’in and Facebook !

    Our sister network Tianji is also growing very fast in China where it is the market leader.

    We think, as a business social network, that we have the right mix. We have not copied Linked’in and we know that business people want to join clubs on business and leisure activities, see pictures of their contacts (a good way to recognise someone at a cocktail when you only ‘know’ each other online).

  3. Peter, its raining pretty hard in the west midlands at the moment so maybe me wishing for the 102 degree heat they are currently having in California is coming through in my writing.

    You make some great points, I agree I’m sure there will be space for other sites/platforms but I can’t really think of the internet playing host to two dominant platforms in the same market. Isn’t the trend towards one dominant platform (eg ebay, skype, msn messenger) and then niche markets/plays around the edges?

    Anyway Viadeo looks good I’m off to complete my profile.

  4. John, for me you’ve hit the nail on the head, ecademy doesn’t seem to have a balance to its membership, which is a shame. I like the idea and I do like the way they created real world clubs and meetings.

  5. Ecademy, Viadeo, Xing are all almost exactly the same. I see no reason to sign onto one as opposed to another. They each have pictures, groups, blogs….They are all missing a gigantic piece of the puzzle.

  6. […] will figure out my two cents about “Linkedin v Facebook: the generation divide” in the Simon Blog, he talked about how linkedin and Facebook will be fighting for being the […]

  7. Simon, I put my two cents on this topic in my blog post at http://sociallinkedin.wordpress.com/

    As a resume , I think both linkedin and Facebook will survive but both of them will have to do lot of things to stay on top and a lot of other things to beat each other on their social networking businesses.


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