TechCrunch recently reported a new Facebook feature. The social media giant is testing a product that allows administrators of business pages to post their job openings online. The feature is reminiscent of LinkedIn, a social media platform that focuses on professional relationships. Facebook target small businesses, a seemingly strategic move considering the fact that LinkedIn reportedly misses the mark with small business owners. An article released in the Wall Street Journal in January claims that small businesses are not utilizing LinkedIn to its full capacity because current LinkedIn strategies and capabilities are suited for large companies with hefty marketing budgets. However, this is not the first time that Facebook and its subsidiaries have taken notes from a competitor.
Instagram Video vs. Vine
Instagram, a subsidiary of Facebook, added a video feature to its platform in 2013, directly competing with Vine, the popular short video-sharing app. Users jokingly posted “RIP Vine” memes when Instagram introduced this new feature, but three years later, Vine is being discontinued by its parent company, Twitter.
Facebook Live vs. Periscope
Then, Facebook created Facebook Live, directly competing with Twitter’s other subsidiary, Periscope, where users can stream videos. Again, despite Twitter’s expertise in live, interactive social media, Facebook’s advantage is its user base. Those who livestream on Periscope can only broadcast to Periscope members, whereas Facebook live users can stream their events within the regular Facebook timeline, thus making it a lucrative option for those who want to stream mobile video.
Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat Stories
Instagram, again, made a a splash earlier in the year when the company rolled out its “Instagram Stories” product feature. The company was criticized heavily for blatantly copying Snapchat. However, the move was successful. Instagram has more than twice as many users as Snapchat with 500 million Instagram users to 150 million Snapchat users. While this has not changed Snapchat’s lead in terms of minutes spent per user per day, companies such as Nike are reporting a larger social media impact through Instagram stories than through Snapchat stories. Leveraging Instagram’s huge customer base is a big deal for advertisers that utilize the platforms to push content out to fans.
So what does this mean for LinkedIn? As Facebook continues to develop auxiliary features modeled after its competitors’ primary functions, the platform’s advantage always comes from its large user base. However, LinkedIn offers services that Facebook simply has not developed the capabilities to compete with (specific skills-related user data, industry targeted advertising, a professional brand). Facebook’s new feature will not damage LinkedIn, but it could continue to be a trend for the company and the social media industry.