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LinkedIn: Background

LinkedIn growth

LinkedIn was started in 2003 as a business networking site. At the time Friendster and MySpace were growing in popularity, and LinkedIn offered older users a way to establish and further their professional contacts using the same social media tools and conventions that had been growing in popularity. The stated emphasis has always been not so much on merely adding contacts for the sake of it—co-founder Konstantin Guericke told BusinessWeek in 2006 the purpose was to cement “trusted relationships”: “People who have been working for at least 10 years have a network. It doesn’t come from networking; it just comes automatically, from going to work. But people tend to lose touch.”

In reality, however, LinkedIn’s connections are probably looser than those on Facebook. While Twitter is all about the information, and Facebook is all about connecting to people you know and like, LinkedIn is about gathering business contacts who may be useful to you. Think of the three like this:

Reason for joining The people
Twitter Information Anyone
LinkedIn Job/hire/industry news Business network
Facebook Social contact Friends, family

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