What’s next? Facebook vs. Linked In

Valleywag today compares Facebook vs. Linked In. I’ve been thinking about the same thing lately. I have hundreds of emails waiting to be answered (I answered a bunch yesterday, but it just caused MORE email to come back in so now I’m behind again — thankfully I’ll be offline in a plane headed to a BEA event in Atlanta so I’ll have lots of time to answer emails). But a good portion of those emails include invitations from Facebook and Linked In. Last week I met an executive in Facebook and they are adding a million new users every week (which represents about 3.3% growth every week — extremely rapid growth, in other words).

Facebook already turned down a $1 billion offer from Yahoo. Why did they do that? Because they know that the advertising market is heating up. MySpace sold for less than that, but in a deal with Google alone got all that money back and more. Facebook is sitting on a gold mine.

I don’t like Linked In (high profile bloggers who put their email and cell phone number on their blog don’t need to join reputation networks to get jobs and other stuff) but I must admit that it is rocking and rolling and speeding up in adoption, not slowing down. I’m very impressed by the job (and the quality of people they’ve gotten to join their system).

My LinkedIn and Facebook requests are not just from people I don’t know. CEOs, CTOs, etc from tons of companies are joining both. Kevin Rose and I had dinner a few days back and he personally begged me to join Facebook. I still haven’t, cause I need fewer things in my life, not more. Twitter dramatically took down my productivity (I’ve been spending less time there trying to get things done) and until I have no emails in my inbox I can’t join new things. But I can stand back and admit my awe of what they’ve done in the marketplace.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook goes public or gets sold for more than $3 billion. They are sitting on a gold mine.

“But Scoble, what if they turn out to be like PointCast?” That’s what several people have asked me when we’ve talked about this. Well, I was on PointCast for two weeks early on. I quit it fast because it tried to lock me in and wouldn’t let me link to articles on it and wouldn’t let me copy text from it. That caused me to start badmouthing it to my friends.

Facebook doesn’t have those problems. All I see is positive growth for it. Linked In does get some negative feelings cause of the email stream it causes, but that’s pretty easily solvable and sure hasn’t slowed down its growth the way I thought it might.

Do you agree or disagree?

Comments

  1. Most people don’t take the time to read and utilize Linkedin’s best feature, endorsements from people who have actually worked with you. This is most unfortunate.

    I haven’t gotten alot of interaction from my Facebook account.

  2. Most people don’t take the time to read and utilize Linkedin’s best feature, endorsements from people who have actually worked with you. This is most unfortunate.

    I haven’t gotten alot of interaction from my Facebook account.

  3. Facebook is a great service, but there are so few intrusive ad efforts on the site right now that I think it’s going to really come back on them if/when they really ramp up the ad campaigns.

  4. Facebook is a great service, but there are so few intrusive ad efforts on the site right now that I think it’s going to really come back on them if/when they really ramp up the ad campaigns.

  5. I was just taking another look at Facebook the other day, cause I kept getting friend notes from the site. Really impressed with where the functionality is at right now. It’s good stuff and it’s only going to get better, imho.

    I saw a panel last week with the founder of LinkedIn, the CTO of Facebook, a VP at Google and some other dude. I asked a question about user control of our own data. Facebook and LinkedIn gave me honest, detailed answers. The other two looked at me like I was from another planet. (though to be fair the acoustics were awful)

    Meanwhile, I got a friend invite via Bebo yesterday and I still can’t get over it!

  6. I was just taking another look at Facebook the other day, cause I kept getting friend notes from the site. Really impressed with where the functionality is at right now. It’s good stuff and it’s only going to get better, imho.

    I saw a panel last week with the founder of LinkedIn, the CTO of Facebook, a VP at Google and some other dude. I asked a question about user control of our own data. Facebook and LinkedIn gave me honest, detailed answers. The other two looked at me like I was from another planet. (though to be fair the acoustics were awful)

    Meanwhile, I got a friend invite via Bebo yesterday and I still can’t get over it!

  7. MM I think linked in is better ok theres a lot of reeuiters and spam on there.

    face book is stil a bit gosh jeepers which school did you go to and which greek did you join

    You have to manage your linked in network more activley the first one I get was an EX CTO of Exact and I can actualy find people ive worked with onlinked in (Ivan Pope for example) but not on facebook.

    This may be a UK vs US thing all of my alumni from high school are 20+ years younger.

  8. MM I think linked in is better ok theres a lot of reeuiters and spam on there.

    face book is stil a bit gosh jeepers which school did you go to and which greek did you join

    You have to manage your linked in network more activley the first one I get was an EX CTO of Exact and I can actualy find people ive worked with onlinked in (Ivan Pope for example) but not on facebook.

    This may be a UK vs US thing all of my alumni from high school are 20+ years younger.

  9. I miss Pointcast. I still think that Idealab should have relaunched Pointcast a few years back as an RSS reader with a lot of the bells and whistles from the original.

    Actually floated that idea to a VP there. Not sure that they understood what I was talking about.

  10. I miss Pointcast. I still think that Idealab should have relaunched Pointcast a few years back as an RSS reader with a lot of the bells and whistles from the original.

    Actually floated that idea to a VP there. Not sure that they understood what I was talking about.

  11. I really doubt that Facebook is worth $3BB. I am hopeful that it doesn’t sell for that much, because whoever purchases it is probably in for a world of hurt.

    How often do these fads change hands? Sure Facebook is the popular site among college kids (and get real – that is still their primary market – they are getting their pants beaten in the high school mkt by MySpace) but since when did they hit super fad? 2006? 2005? 2004 at the earliest. Let’s say they’re irrelevant in 2010. Not a bad prediction given how relevant is geocities, tripod, and AOL are these days.

    Who’s going to pay $3B and have to monetize that in 3 good years? And is a company that ran it’s complete cycle in 4-6 years really worth $3B?

  12. I really doubt that Facebook is worth $3BB. I am hopeful that it doesn’t sell for that much, because whoever purchases it is probably in for a world of hurt.

    How often do these fads change hands? Sure Facebook is the popular site among college kids (and get real – that is still their primary market – they are getting their pants beaten in the high school mkt by MySpace) but since when did they hit super fad? 2006? 2005? 2004 at the earliest. Let’s say they’re irrelevant in 2010. Not a bad prediction given how relevant is geocities, tripod, and AOL are these days.

    Who’s going to pay $3B and have to monetize that in 3 good years? And is a company that ran it’s complete cycle in 4-6 years really worth $3B?

  13. The only comment I have is how incredibly good Facebook is at finding people you only dimly remember from more than a decade ago. I finally signed on a couple of weeks ago (at my wife’s urging) and in no time I had located and re-befriended a whole bunch of people I hadn’t talked to in years. I’ve never been in on any of these things before, so maybe that’s not a new phenomenon, but I was pretty impressed.

    I don’t think I will end up spending a lot of time on there, but I can see how it would be addictive to some.

  14. The only comment I have is how incredibly good Facebook is at finding people you only dimly remember from more than a decade ago. I finally signed on a couple of weeks ago (at my wife’s urging) and in no time I had located and re-befriended a whole bunch of people I hadn’t talked to in years. I’ve never been in on any of these things before, so maybe that’s not a new phenomenon, but I was pretty impressed.

    I don’t think I will end up spending a lot of time on there, but I can see how it would be addictive to some.

  15. I’m an avid Facebook addict, and am still surprised by how many people I know join in any given week.

    What they have right now is a good thing, and as long as they don’t deviate too far from that point too quickly, I don’t see it stopping any time soon.

    However, I read somewhere that they are thinking about doing “Facebook Music” or something equally as stupid, which I think has the potential of outright ruining the experience.

    Facebookers don’t want a MySpace clone.

  16. I’m an avid Facebook addict, and am still surprised by how many people I know join in any given week.

    What they have right now is a good thing, and as long as they don’t deviate too far from that point too quickly, I don’t see it stopping any time soon.

    However, I read somewhere that they are thinking about doing “Facebook Music” or something equally as stupid, which I think has the potential of outright ruining the experience.

    Facebookers don’t want a MySpace clone.

  17. As a very busy grown-up, LinkedIn is the only social network I actively participate in. Personally, I love it because it lets me keep track of business associates as they flutter around the tech economy. I’ve also used it to find FOAFs for services I needed.

    I’m not quite sure what you mean about “the amount of email traffic it generates”. Apart from invite requests, I never get anything from them — certainly nothing that feels like spam.

  18. As a very busy grown-up, LinkedIn is the only social network I actively participate in. Personally, I love it because it lets me keep track of business associates as they flutter around the tech economy. I’ve also used it to find FOAFs for services I needed.

    I’m not quite sure what you mean about “the amount of email traffic it generates”. Apart from invite requests, I never get anything from them — certainly nothing that feels like spam.

  19. Facebook is still very much an undergraduate/recent graduate thing in the UK – though what’s interesting is how certain consultancies seem to be using it as a networking device for retaining contacts. It feels like a MySpace that doesn’t give you a migraine at the moment. Great feature set but LinkedIn is still the one that feels more “grown-up”. Mind you – LinkedIn is also heavily tech biased – Facebook may have an ‘in’ there.

  20. Facebook is still very much an undergraduate/recent graduate thing in the UK – though what’s interesting is how certain consultancies seem to be using it as a networking device for retaining contacts. It feels like a MySpace that doesn’t give you a migraine at the moment. Great feature set but LinkedIn is still the one that feels more “grown-up”. Mind you – LinkedIn is also heavily tech biased – Facebook may have an ‘in’ there.

  21. Linked In is more network marketing ‘pitch people’ over contact database, people join to pitch, maybe not so much in the Silicon Valley chummy techy party circles, but outside of that demographic, it’s a spam machine. Same thing with Facebook and MySpace, spam and ads, traded for the illusion of connecting with ‘friends’. All have high drop-out rates, hot thing now, cold thing later.

  22. Linked In is more network marketing ‘pitch people’ over contact database, people join to pitch, maybe not so much in the Silicon Valley chummy techy party circles, but outside of that demographic, it’s a spam machine. Same thing with Facebook and MySpace, spam and ads, traded for the illusion of connecting with ‘friends’. All have high drop-out rates, hot thing now, cold thing later.

  23. Sounds like we need to create a “Get Robert Scoble on Facebook” group now-ish. How about that Robert, if we get 1000 people to join, then will you sign up? :)

  24. Sounds like we need to create a “Get Robert Scoble on Facebook” group now-ish. How about that Robert, if we get 1000 people to join, then will you sign up? :)

  25. LinkedIn is currently little more than a CV repository for the vast majority of its users who are forced to treat their contact lists as just that – lists, rather than networks. LinkedIn is sitting on this huge network and confining its use far too much. They need to give just a little bit on their privacy concerns and let their users begin to leverage the value of th networks they are connected to, and until that happens they will continue to serve the information of most of their users up to high paying elite users (recruiters, etc.). This is the opposite of how it should work. The value should go back to the users who contributed to create the content. This is where Facebook is holding the reins. The only thing for sure is that Reid Hoffman will be ok no matter which one comes out of this potential slugfest.

  26. LinkedIn is currently little more than a CV repository for the vast majority of its users who are forced to treat their contact lists as just that – lists, rather than networks. LinkedIn is sitting on this huge network and confining its use far too much. They need to give just a little bit on their privacy concerns and let their users begin to leverage the value of th networks they are connected to, and until that happens they will continue to serve the information of most of their users up to high paying elite users (recruiters, etc.). This is the opposite of how it should work. The value should go back to the users who contributed to create the content. This is where Facebook is holding the reins. The only thing for sure is that Reid Hoffman will be ok no matter which one comes out of this potential slugfest.

  27. “[extremely modest,] high profile bloggers who put their email and cell phone number on their blog don’t need to join reputation networks to get jobs and other stuff”

    fixed that for you. ;-)

  28. “[extremely modest,] high profile bloggers who put their email and cell phone number on their blog don’t need to join reputation networks to get jobs and other stuff”

    fixed that for you. ;-)

  29. Linkedin is a business network while Facebook is a relationship network. Facebook can help you on exploring relationship. Linkedin can help you on building business. Facebook shows your relationship status while Linkedin shows your business status.

    Linkedin’s Answer and Job Posting are business productivity tools that Facebook is not focusing on.

    Use Linkedin the right way will lead you to some possible interested deals. Use Facebook the right way will lead you to possible romance or love.

    Linkedin saves me time by avoiding keeping multiple copies of contacts on different computers and email account address book. It offers more than listing your contact and profile at your blogs.

    Linkedin won the Webby Awards this year 2007.

  30. Linkedin is a business network while Facebook is a relationship network. Facebook can help you on exploring relationship. Linkedin can help you on building business. Facebook shows your relationship status while Linkedin shows your business status.

    Linkedin’s Answer and Job Posting are business productivity tools that Facebook is not focusing on.

    Use Linkedin the right way will lead you to some possible interested deals. Use Facebook the right way will lead you to possible romance or love.

    Linkedin saves me time by avoiding keeping multiple copies of contacts on different computers and email account address book. It offers more than listing your contact and profile at your blogs.

    Linkedin won the Webby Awards this year 2007.

  31. I don’t understand why Facebook ‘is sitting on a goldmine’. How? By being able to sell ad space? But there are so many other network sites that offer that too (classmates, myspace). What makes Facebook so different?

    I have both a Facebook account and a LinkedIn account but prefer the last one. this is a) because Facebook is mainly US focussed and I’m Europe focussed and b) because I value staying in touch with a business network more than with people who were randomly introduced into my life just because I went to school with them.

  32. I don’t understand why Facebook ‘is sitting on a goldmine’. How? By being able to sell ad space? But there are so many other network sites that offer that too (classmates, myspace). What makes Facebook so different?

    I have both a Facebook account and a LinkedIn account but prefer the last one. this is a) because Facebook is mainly US focussed and I’m Europe focussed and b) because I value staying in touch with a business network more than with people who were randomly introduced into my life just because I went to school with them.

  33. […] address) so I didn’t join since I had already graduated. After reading a blog post about Facebook vs Linked In I checked out the site again. I discovered that I can now sign up, and after signing up I realized […]

  34. Aloha Robert,

    I see all three of these as important platforms. While MySpace can be annoying, Facebook is a fairly clean interface and quite useful. LinkedIn is a little quirky, but can usefully make the social networks visible.

    None of these will be a waste of time, especially with the kind of leverage MySpace and Facebook are waving around during negotiations…

    Cheers, Jeff McNeill

  35. Aloha Robert,

    I see all three of these as important platforms. While MySpace can be annoying, Facebook is a fairly clean interface and quite useful. LinkedIn is a little quirky, but can usefully make the social networks visible.

    None of these will be a waste of time, especially with the kind of leverage MySpace and Facebook are waving around during negotiations…

    Cheers, Jeff McNeill

  36. i use all three facebook, myspace, linkedIN. I feel like facebook and myspace are for me & my friends… to escape from the world of work… while linkedIN — embraces my professional relationships with people I’ve vested time with (that include some of my friends). I’ve got 40+ contacts — I’ve got one recommendation, I’ve given out three… I’m also unemployed and I’m thinking… hmmm.. how can i utilize LinkedIN to get a job? Because I feel like monster and hotjobs is so popular — it’s too popular to embrace with any siccess… So, I think I’m going to start giving a lot of recommendations on linedIN to former colleagues in an effort to get ‘recommendations’ in return, and the idea is to.. enhance my value… but then what?? Hope someone contacts me… Social networking is still primative, I think we’re just laying down the ground work – with connections.. and i anticipate a whole “Wii” generation of social networking… just around the corner… ya know? Let’s go skiing w/ friends from myspace on Wii — all the best! – john

  37. i use all three facebook, myspace, linkedIN. I feel like facebook and myspace are for me & my friends… to escape from the world of work… while linkedIN — embraces my professional relationships with people I’ve vested time with (that include some of my friends). I’ve got 40+ contacts — I’ve got one recommendation, I’ve given out three… I’m also unemployed and I’m thinking… hmmm.. how can i utilize LinkedIN to get a job? Because I feel like monster and hotjobs is so popular — it’s too popular to embrace with any siccess… So, I think I’m going to start giving a lot of recommendations on linedIN to former colleagues in an effort to get ‘recommendations’ in return, and the idea is to.. enhance my value… but then what?? Hope someone contacts me… Social networking is still primative, I think we’re just laying down the ground work – with connections.. and i anticipate a whole “Wii” generation of social networking… just around the corner… ya know? Let’s go skiing w/ friends from myspace on Wii — all the best! – john

  38. If you’re a LinkedIn user, you must have noticed the change of the site’s home page about 2 months ago.
    “Find the people you know, from your company, from your school”…
    By using the word “school” at the first place, LI is running on Facebook’s field. The words “School” and “University” are, definitely owned by Facebook (for the next years at least).
    Instead of pursuing this strategy, LI should clarifying its positioning and focus only on the business market. Who goes on LI to find classmates ? There are bunch of sites for this : classmates, reunion, FACEBOOK. You go on LI only for business purpose, to grow your network, find co workers, business colleagues. Ok, sometimes they happen to be your old classmates but the site shouldn’t exhib rhis aspect, like it’s a big part of the concept, or LI could loose its relevancy (and market) on the long run.
    You cannot be everything for everyone. If a site ever done this, we would only go on this one site and the Internet would be called thissite.com.
    Yahoo, Google and MSN try to do this, but do you use even 10% of the services of these 3 sites ? In users mind, they are only email, search engine and instant messaging services, nothing more.
    LI in general has big ambiguity issues with its design and business model(and positioning). Just take a look at this thread and you’ll understand:
    http://www.linkedin.com/answers/using-linkedIn/ULI/67390-5444337?searchIdx=0&sik=1190645793254&goback=%2Easr_1_1190645793254

  39. If you’re a LinkedIn user, you must have noticed the change of the site’s home page about 2 months ago.
    “Find the people you know, from your company, from your school”…
    By using the word “school” at the first place, LI is running on Facebook’s field. The words “School” and “University” are, definitely owned by Facebook (for the next years at least).
    Instead of pursuing this strategy, LI should clarifying its positioning and focus only on the business market. Who goes on LI to find classmates ? There are bunch of sites for this : classmates, reunion, FACEBOOK. You go on LI only for business purpose, to grow your network, find co workers, business colleagues. Ok, sometimes they happen to be your old classmates but the site shouldn’t exhib rhis aspect, like it’s a big part of the concept, or LI could loose its relevancy (and market) on the long run.
    You cannot be everything for everyone. If a site ever done this, we would only go on this one site and the Internet would be called thissite.com.
    Yahoo, Google and MSN try to do this, but do you use even 10% of the services of these 3 sites ? In users mind, they are only email, search engine and instant messaging services, nothing more.
    LI in general has big ambiguity issues with its design and business model(and positioning). Just take a look at this thread and you’ll understand:
    http://www.linkedin.com/answers/using-linkedIn/ULI/67390-5444337?searchIdx=0&sik=1190645793254&goback=%2Easr_1_1190645793254

  40. I started using Facebook as a business networking tool as well as for former classmates but now also use LinkedIn as well. Some people I have on both and I use them for different things.

  41. I started using Facebook as a business networking tool as well as for former classmates but now also use LinkedIn as well. Some people I have on both and I use them for different things.