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February 1, 2012 / dickbert

LinkedIn is dead. Social Network Trends 2012

Yes, LinkedIn is dead. Numbers decline, new networks arise. Still there is no replacement for the business part of social networks. But it’s only a matter of time.

We’ve gone a long way with social networks. It all started with simple forums and groups in the mid-nineties. Back in 2003 Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson founded MySpace, the first real social network. It was an immediate success as user could create profiles and post on each-others’ walls. With Facebook a new player conquered the market. Starting with students from elite-universities Harvard, Princeton & Yale it soon became popular among all students in the U.S. In the following years the network was opened for all people around the world. While on the one hand facebook’s grow was endless, MySpace suffered user losses on the other hand. Therefore the pioneer of social networking started focussing on musicians like rock bands who could publish their music on MySpace. With regard to facebook and MySpace the fun part of social networking was covered.
In 2003 another network for professionals was founded, so called LinkedIn. Their goal is to connect professionals around the world. There are important differences between social networks for private and professional use. Here are some examples:

Fees. Private: free. Professional: subscription.
Content. Private: Text, Photos, Videos, Games, Music. Professional: Text.
Purpose. Private: Share life experience, have fun. Professional: Promote, make business.

Now, it is interesting to know how the networks perform? Do they live up to their promise?

Facebook has the most amazing growth of a web business since Google. About 800m users have joined the social network until today. No doubt: facebook is the most successful and powerful network in the world. The are many reasons for it: aggressive invitation strategy for new users, Like button to get connected to the world outside facebook, open platform for third-party apps, simple structure and design, a lot of features to share your life. And so on. Facebook simply rocks and is fun to everyone.

LinkedIn is the most successful business network. With 135m users they keep the biggest part of the professional networks. Their total share is only 0.7% of all social networks. However, their users spend only 8min in average per day on the network’s website. Latest numbers show a decline for LinkedIn, while newcomers like Pinterest.com skyrocket the sphere. What are the reasons for that?
The probably biggest problem is, that the purpose of LinkedIn doesn’t really work. Doing Business. Have you ever made a deal through a LinkedIn connection? Have you seriously found new business partners through LinkedIn? What is their purpose? Business card sharing? Job website? Furthermore: What kind of people use the network? To answer the last question: all, but only few decision makers.

Airmatch is the new way for serious and professional social interaction. LinkedIn is outdated. It does not make sense anymore. We need valuable interactions. We need to solve problems. LinkedIn is a lot of interaction, but with poor results.

Airmatch is preparing to take off soon. Watch this hot startup on airmatch.net
They promised to reveal a secret close beta soon. We keep you posted.

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