December 7, 2010

New Facebook Profiles Taking a Shot At LinkedIn


Yesterday BIGfish’s President, David Gerzof, was interviewed by WBZ-TV for a piece regarding the new Facebook profiles and what consequences the changes could have on privacy. Following the interview, we got to thinking about what other implications the new Facebook changes could have on the social media community, and one stuck out right away; competition for LinkedIn.
Facebook has rolled out two new features to beef up their ‘Education and Work’ section on profiles;
1. Add a project – This allows Facebook users to essentially create a LinkedIn-esque resume right on their Facebook profile. Each job can have accurate descriptions of projects, meaningful skills, and other details employers would find relevant.  The new feature is particularly important because it is common practice for employers to check candidates’ Facebook profiles during the interview process. By making this feature the only public section of a profile, it is a way to feature your resume for any potential recruiters who may stumble across your profile.
Another way to utilize this new feature would be to create a ‘professional profile’ that is only used for work connections, displaying your resume and providing relevant interests (sounds an awful lot like LinkedIn doesn’t it?). Why wouldn’t people want to do this instead? They can pick their professional connections similar to LinkedIn, except there is a larger amount of possible professional connections. This is something Facebook could offer, with little effort besides some slight changes to the information displayed on the professional page.

2. Work tagging – Under each work listing, Facebook now offers the ability to tag friends who you work(ed) with. This creates a very similar functionality to Linkedin; the ability to see who your LinkedIn connections are connected to on a job by job basis. The feature that allows LinkedIn users to see connections’ second and third connections is one of the most unique and important features. If Facebook can become another resource with similar functionality, it could cut into the usefulness of LinkedIn.
While these features may not get anyone to leave LinkedIn, the Facebook updates could be another building block in their plan to become the one-stop-shop for online profiles. Similar to their recent release of Facebook Messaging, Facebook will not cut into current Gmail and LinkedIn users, but may stop the future generation from signing up with other services. Only time will tell if these new features become anything more than another small part of Facebook’s offerings, or key components to stealing users from other sites.

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