For millions of Internet denizens, Facebook and LinkedIn are crucial for keeping in touch with scattered friends, family, and business contacts.
Although the two services have a lot in common, what you use them for will determine which is more worthy of your time.
What are Facebook and LinkedIn, really?
The conventional wisdom is that Facebook is for friends and family and LinkedIn is for keeping in touch with important business contacts. But in truth, that division is far from distinct. For example, many businesses rely heavily on Facebook as a platform for networking and communicating with customers.
And despite its business trappings, LinkedIn now has a member homepage that resembles Facebook in its simpler days — when you sign in, the opening page starts off with a box for posting whatever thoughts and links you feel the need to share, followed by recent news posted by other linked members.
That makes LinkedIn a virtual bulletin board you can use to connect not just with business associates but also with former classmates, coworkers, and potential contacts in your field.
Unlike Facebook, however, LinkedIn’s primary goal is still to highlight your professional portfolio. When others visit your page, they immediately see a virtual résumé, recommendations by fellow LinkedIn members, and recent activities. It’s established itself as a great platform on which to connect with peers and increase your professional visibility.
Think of it this way: From a business perspective, LinkedIn is the business social-networking site for individuals; Facebook is the business social-networking site for businesses.