Why LinkedIn Corp (LNKD) Wants To Be A Facebook Inc (FB)?

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It is a well-known fact that LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) is not in the same league of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). However, the company aspires to be one. It could be a simple reason that growth in the social media is much faster than the professional network. That is mainly because the professional network is considerably smaller than the social network. The users in the professional network also appear to start viewing less value from it though it adds two fresh users every second.

LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD)’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, indicated in 2013 that the company looked at its future more as a publishing platform for the professionals. He said that it was one of the areas where it was making a strong traction. He also pointed out the momentum in the generation of Influencers, slideshare, LinkedIn Groups that were turning out to be professionally relevant content. He believed that it would not only become a strong platform but also valuable context for big enterprises and for small and medium business to engage with professionals.

Early results have gone awry and LinkedIn’s publishing side has given the social network a more unprofessional look, which has distracted from it’s original mission and is sending mixed signals for the professional network.

The company also recently removed some functionality which included a tool which allows users to export their address book, without giving sufficient time to its 350 million users. Previously users could export a CSV file with all their contacts, now they can only export a full archive which includes a full history on LinkedIn.

Analyst Comments

Constellation Research analyst, Ray Wang, said that the company has spoiled its social contract with the users by some unprofessional acts. That included trampling over the rights of personal data, breaking the secular principle of trust, as well as, transparency, and in the process forgot that the customer was the network’s product.

There appears to be a threat that LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) could become the first professional network platform to get disrupted by another. That is Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) since the company is getting more attention with plenty of scope to expand.

Viraj Shah

Viraj Shah has completed M.Com (Finance) and is currently pursuing his CFP. He tracks US markets along with other global markets like India very closely. He is very passionate about stocks, real estate, and technology. He also believes that money can always be made in the market.

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