I started wondering the other day if Twitter is ruining LinkedIn.
Twitter has changed the behavior of how people connect. Sheer numbers of followers seems to be valued in the Twitter world and there is no assumption that you need to personally know your followers. In fact, I would guess that 99% of the time you aren’t going to know the person you’ve followed on Twitter and that’s ok --that’s the point of Twitter. I must admit that the best thing Twitter has enabled me to do is meet people and build actual relationships with people that I would never have met through other means.
But, as Twitter gets more popular, I notice that people who I don’t know have started to invite me to connect on LinkedIn in huge volumes. The original point of LinkedIn was to be linked to people you know and trust. Then, the LinkedIn platform enables you to request an introduction from one of your contacts if you would like to meet one of your contacts’ contacts (in fact I just happened to receive one of these requests as I was writing this blog).
But now with Twitter (and other forms of social media), people have much less hesitation to try to connect with those they don’t know. Number of followers or connections is seen as valuable. I’m amazed by the number of LinkedIn invites I receive daily from complete strangers who give no reason why I should connect with them.
There are no doubt two camps of LinkedIn types. The traditional camp that will ignore those requests from unknowns and limit their LinkedIn contacts to those that they have actual relationships. And the there’s the social media set that will likely accept more invitations via LinkedIn to follow the trend that more social contacts is better.
It’s not just a numbers game. The more LinkedIn connections you have, the more people can read your updates—meaning the more you can market to your audience. Google is also starting to take into account social media status, which is of course related to number of connections on the top social networks. What this means is now there is a lot of motivation for people to abandon the traditional camp of LinkedIn members and move to the new camp. Then the question remains, will that ruin Linkedin?
Please share your thoughts below!
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