LinkedIn’s Facebook Application

    June 29, 2007

Since Facebook opened up its platform for third party applications, there has been a lot of activity. The latest major provider to launch a Facebook app is business-oriented social network LinkedIn. The new app is a “My Company’s Hiring” function. A profile link leads to a list of positions for which one’s firm is recruiting. A “more info” link can lead to a full job description, an application form, etc.

It’s an interesting idea, and the benefit to Facebook seems clear. They are moving aggressively to become something far beyond a dating site for college students, and this employment/business feature adds value to their network. The value to LinkedIn is less apparent. The app is entirely disconnected from LinkedIn itself, and I suppose the primary benefit is brand exposure. Even that benefit is limited. The profile icon is a tiny “In” icon that may not be familiar to most Facebook users. When one goes to set up a job, though, there’s a full logo that actually links to the LinkedIn site.

In a wider sense, this shows the limits of a Facebook app. It’s likely to drive very little traffic to LinkedIn, and consume a fair amount of server capacity. LinkedIn is probably well-equipped enough to handle the traffic compared to tiny startups, so perhaps it’s worth the effort if they garner some positive reactions from members and attract a few new ones who want to post jobs.

Blogger Muhammad Saleem thinks that this is a move by LinkedIn to preempt a similar feature from Facebook. Mashable notes that LinkedIn will soon follow Facebook’s lead by launching its own open development platform.