Bored with copying Twitter, Facebook move onto LinkedIn

Time and time again this summer, Facebook have appeared to be stealing popular features from their biggest social rival, Twitter. Having turned the little bird upside down and given him a damn good shaking, it seems there isn’t much left worth pinching and so it’s onto their next major competitor…

Yesterday, The Next Web published this statement from Facebook:

“We are currently testing a new option where you can add your professional skills to the work and education section of your timeline.”

So that’s basically LinkedIn then, only with the added advantage that you’ll be able to use the feature to connect to groups and communities with shared interests, making it easier than ever for you to be found by prospective employers.

Will it take off? No doubt it’ll need lots more development and testing but in the long term yes, I think it probably will. This is the advantage of being the biggest player in the market. Almost all Twitter and LinkedIn users are also Facebook users. The reverse doesn’t apply. Therefore it’s a pretty safe strategy for Facebook to say to their vast audience, “Look, you’re already here sharing comments and images with friends, so why not also use us to do those other social networky things you like too, such as participating in #publicconversations or applying for jobs?”

It’s a bit like shopping. If your local Tesco’s decides to start selling insurance then it’s probably going to get reasonable traction given that its captive audience is so large. However, if an insurance company tries to sell groceries… well they’re idiots.

So who’s going to be next? Other players in social networking could be forgiven for assuming that any new innovation they successfully launch will be immediately pumped out to a billion Facebook users. Their only hope will be that at some point Facebook’s attempt to be all things to all people will be their undoing. The trouble is, people really like Tesco’s.