Pattern Recognition, by Ian Sigalow

Is LinkedIn the New Facebook?



Ian Sigalow

Ian is a co-founder and partner at Greycroft Partners in New York City. He has been a venture capitalist since 2001.


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Is LinkedIn the New Facebook?

Posted on .

facebook-linkedinWhen 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.


Ian Sigalow

Ian is a co-founder and partner at Greycroft Partners in New York City. He has been a venture capitalist since 2001.

  • user

    AUTHOR spcohn

    Posted on 7:14 am April 11, 2013.

    Regarding paid advertising I have found LI programs to be much better than Facebook. CPC is much higher but CPA is better and lead quality is higher.

    • user

      AUTHOR idsigs

      Posted on 1:54 pm April 11, 2013.

      spcohn I have heard this from a lot of people, particularly companies selling B2B software.  It is a better audience and I like the ad placement a lot better on LI vs FB.

  • user

    AUTHOR rickwatson

    Posted on 8:59 am April 12, 2013.

    Good observations.
    Couldn’t agree more Ian and matches my experience.  The next steps for FB seems to be enriching & structuring user’s existing network rather than growing it (I guess at 1B users they feel the upside is limited).
    The alternatives for FB is to either a seperate site, business features in current site, or somehow wedge itself into LinkedIn’s stream.  None of those seem appealing and all seem unlikely for that team given their mission/history — whereas both Salesforce and LinkedIn have shown that social features are adopted pretty heavily (endorsements, mentions, Twitter-like streams).
    Also LI much more monetizable base than Facebook, so $ upside is greater.  Good place to be.
    More and more, FB’s future seems almost like a universal ad and transaction exchange that’s in front of everyone.

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