When was the last time you added a new friend on Facebook?
I still go to Facebook every day to browse links and baby pictures, but like many people I know, I am not adding many new friends. The problem is that my personal information on the site has built up over the past few years, and I have second thoughts now about sharing things like wedding photos with anyone outside my inner circle.
This is the paradox of Facebook. As time goes on I have become more vested in the platform, which is what Facebook wants to happen. I add photos of friends and family, and I comment on my friend’s stories. But the flip side is that I find myself second guessing who I want to share this information with. As of this morning, I am sharing wedding photos with 1,059 friends. I think that is probably enough. And yes, I know there are Facebook privacy settings to solve this problem, but it is a pain to go back and edit six years of content.
When was the last time you added a new connection on LinkedIn?
As of this morning I have 2,434 connections on LinkedIn. I add a few new connections every week. Even my friend Michael Lazerow, who is the most active Facebook user I know (and built a business on Facebook), has more connections on LinkedIn than Facebook.
This sample size of two may not be statistically significant, but the growth across the network is undeniable.
Does this mean that LinkedIn will topple Facebook for social media supremacy? Maybe not. The type of personal media on Facebook creates more page views and interaction than the professional sort of media on LinkedIn. In a world where attention is traded for advertising dollars, that edge goes to Facebook. But the two sites continue to evolve in different ways, and I can’t help but think that the number of individual connections will be a key component of value creation down the road. At the very least, I believe it will help LinkedIn grow faster than Facebook for the foreseeable future.