Linkedin Claims Professional Social Network Domination

Posted on June 17, 2007

LinkedInCNN's The Browser reports that LinkedIn CEO Dan Nye believes people will maintain two social networking profiles and that LinkedIn will dominate as the professional social network.
Stealing some of his material from LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman on the matter, Nye said people will build one profile for their personal life and another for their professional life. The argument, self serving as it is, makes a certain amount of sense. Not good to have a prospective employer stumble on to those photos of you freshman year in Delta Kappa Epsilon.

After the inevitable social net shakeout, Nye says, Facebook and MySpace will remain standing and will compete to supply an outlet for personal self-expression and community. Meanwhile, in the Nye/Hoffman scenario, LinkedIn will dominate the business of business networking - serving as a "productivity tool," used for professional reference checking, recruiting, and to get expert advice.

Granted, LinkedIn's current growth does look promising. With upwards of 11 million members already signed up, the site is now adding 180,000 new members each week, and fully half of these live outside the United States. Thus, Nye professes little fear of would be competitors like the European front-runner Xing.com. "We are clearly going to win the English speaking world and adjacent economies," he said. "And that already is pretty meaningful." In Silicon Valley, he added, "LinkedIn is now so prevalent that you sort of have to join it."
It is likely that many people will maintain multiple social networking profiles and if many of them do choose to have seperate personal and professional profiles this will benefit LinkedIn. However, it is still unclear exactly how the online presence market is going to play out.