It looks like Facebook is making yet another headline. The social network is developing a new feature that will allow users to separate their work friends from their social friends according to a report from CNN Money’s Fortune section. This feature however, could mean stiff competition for professional social network LinkedIn, whose focus is connecting people who work with each other.
There has been speculation by some analysts that should Facebook’s feature of allowing a professional profile as well as a social one and the division of friends for each category prove to be popular, the need for a service such a LinkedIn may become obsolete.
Jupiter media analyst Barry Parr was quoted in CNN Money to say, “At some point people are going to want to simplify. The open question that no one is really prepared to answer is how many networks do you really want to belong to?”
While the search capabilities differ on the two social networks, Facebook offers far more to a profile than LinkedIn, which some contest would be the reason the former may win in the end over the ladder. It will take some time to see how Facebook users and LinkedIn users (in some cases the same users) respond to the changes and mark the fate of each site.
Jeff Pulyer’s blog entry which spoke about his switch to Facebook was covered in the report in which he said, “I find that the interactions I have through Facebook are at once more rewarding and more nuanced and meaningful than what I experienced on LinkedIn.”
The next battle of the social networks may be brewing with these developments and the reaction by professionals could prove that work is not necessarily “no play”.