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25/06/2007

LinkedIn follows Facebook into the open: MySpace next?

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I see LinkedIn is to open up: a pretty essential move to ensure its continuing relevance in a world where Facebook is hoovering up professionals to its social network.

According to Dan Farber at ZDNet, LinkedIn's founder told him:

...over next 9 months LinkedIn [will] deliver APIs for developers, ostensibly to make it more of platform like Facebook, and create a way for users who spend more time socially in Facebook to get LinkedIn notifications

Sooner the better in my opinion. Although LinkedIn has added new functionality it has never been more than a live contacts database for me.

It's good to see Linkedin thinking about defining itself in relation to Facebook, this may add to the usefulness of both services.

As John Naughton's article in yesterday's Observer neatly illustrates, open platforms rather than controlled spaces look like the smart bet when it comes to social networks.

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Also check out the new Plaxo, which does Outlook-Google-Plaxo-Linked In sync for contacts and calendars. Plaxo has a lot of knockers, but it's saved my bacon, or rather my address book, loads of times. No Facebook yet, though, apparently that's in the roadmap according to the 'spokesperson' I talked to today.

I like Liked-In a lot.

Because you have to pay to take part (well, take part properly), it's a different audience.

Myspace - chavvy
Facebook - young chattering classes
Plaxo - Reader's Digest level of touting
Linked In - business people who work (shock, horror) beyond 'creative industries'

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