Does LinkedIn Really Need to Worry About Facebook?

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When the news first broke that LinkedIn would be releasing a developer API, both the way they marketed this move and the way the community responded to it seems somewhat unreasonable. LinkedIn is a specialized social network and they shouldn’t really be worrying about Facebook, at least not yet.
Chairman and founder of the business oriented social networking site, Reid Hoffman told Dan Farber that the site would be releasing developer APIs so that it can better compete with Facebook by becoming more of a platform. Nick O’Neill further tells us that since Facebook opened up their site about a month ago, many people have been reporting that they are receiving more and more professional contact requests through this site rather than LinkedIn. First of all I find it hard to believe that this is a large concern and even if there are statistics to prove otherwise, this should only be a short-term worry.
LinkedIn is known for having a clear focus in mind. The site doesn’t aim to do many things at once, rather is strictly a business-oriented social network and is damn good at that. And keeping that in mind, even if Facebook was to launch some sort of competitor, just take a look at the sites’ demographics and you tell me which one you would rather be a part of for professional social networking.
LinkedIn Demographics
The site has over 11 million users including recruiters from venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Greylock, Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo. The average LinkedIn user is 39 years old and makes $139,000 a year.
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Facebook Demographics
Though the site is slowly trending towards an older crowd a large number of the site’s over 25 million users are still in the 18-24 year range with the average user making an of $76,000 a year (high-end estimate).
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I think LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke had it right when he said, “We want LinkedIn to go wherever your business network would go. If it’s social, we’ll leave that to Facebook. But if it’s about money, then it’s LinkedIn.” And that’s what they should be thinking about.

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