LinkedIn’s Coming of Age

Five or six years ago, I remember inviting my former boss to connect with me on LinkedIn. The invitation was ignored. Thinking back, I reckon he hadn’t heard of LinkedIn or simply didn’t want to be bothered by such (an unproven) distraction.

I didn’t take his rebuff personally. In fact, if I took to heart all the ignored invitations I’ve dispatched via Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare and Twitter, I’d certainly find myself in Bellevue today.

The now seven-year-old social channel, while resourceful as a cloud-based address book for business acquaintances, always seemed to lag behind my other social networks in terms of user functionality. That’s finally changing.

In November, LinkedIn hooked up with Twitter. The LinkedIn blog posted at the time:

“When you set your status on LinkedIn you can now tweet it as well, amplifying it to your followers and real-time search services like Twitter Search and Bing. And when you tweet, you can send that message to your LinkedIn connections as well, from any Twitter service or tool.”

That relationship has since expanded further, and yesterday morphed into “full-fledged client status” as TechCrunch’s Leena Rao reports:

“And this year the network added the ability to “follow” companies, taking a page from both Twitter and Facebook. Today, LinkedIn is furthering its Twitter integration by allowing members to easily find and keep track of their LinkedIn connections on Twitter and more, essentially becoming a full-fledged client.”

Not everyone thinks the tie-in between these two disparate networks is necessarily beneficial to one’s online reputation or his/her fortunes. Scarletta’s Blog correctly asks:

“So here is my plea to the avid LinkedIn Twitterer, before you connect your Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile ask yourself this question, do my connections really want to see my tweets?”

As for newer LinkedIn enhancements, Viral Blog, reports that the social biz net has:

“…updated its advertising tool to allow individuals/companies to buy ‘Direct Ads’. This simple tool is also a rich source of information about registered users.”

Hmmm. If you’ve thought about Facebook’s privacy issues (who hasn’t?), including an “evil” software app that ferrets out FB users’ phone numbers, think about the data you’ve listed in your LinkedIn profile. Let’s just hope that Reid Hoffman doesn’t sell you down the river in pursuit of the almighty advertising dollar (versus reliance on premium membership revenue).

LinkedIn stats and graphic courtesy of Vincenzo Cosenza.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the link to Scarletta’s Blog this subject proved very popular and has been one of the most successful posts on Scarletta’s Blog to date. The overwhelming majority of voters in our poll found the LinkedIn and Twitter connection annoying!

    Melanie Mackie, Scarletta Media

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