Few people are arguing that Facebook is typically a professional environment. I don’t see anyone sticking their head out and claiming that the authentic social environment of the twittersphere breeds stoic professionalism. There is entirely too much garbage, and the noise creates this chaotic messy swirl of damning repercussions for the handful of professional entities using Facebook in a completely refined way.
So these social media circles can be professional in brief spurts, but the overall environment is not so. And this is perfectly acceptable. This is what makes social media accessible and engaging to the masses, and partly the reason for its cultural penetration. But LinkedIn has taken a different approach, and it is exactly this approach that will make the social site potentially the longest lasting of the current giants- and the most boring.
What is the main reason for a social website slowly falling off? It is an unpredictable world, but few would argue that the slow onset of boredom is a major contribution to a particular anything’s lack of longevity. Facebook is hemorrhaging users in staggering quantities. What makes this even more impressive and stunning is the fact that just a few years ago this social media juggernaut had a controversial and record breaking IPO launch. The bottom line is ultimately that people just got bored. The buzz wore off. The competing options such as Instagram and Pinterest only further diluted the pool. The honeymoon is over because the spouse just got a little boring.
Yet LinkedIn was, and probably never will be exciting. It isn’t fundamentally groundbreaking. It isn’t particularly designed well. It doesn’t have anything to lose in the ‘fun department’ because it was never designed to be that way. The only thing that can realistically kill LinkedIn is its lack of being useful. It does not rely on the fickle expectations of a casual mass audience or a strong teenage base. It is a professional network- nothing less and nothing more.
The second main idea behind LinkedIn’s cultural longevity is how people are using it. Individuals tend to use it in a professional capacity, which helps filter out all the crap that pollutes a typical Facebook feed. But it is not designed for uninteresting sharing. It is interested in branding and marketing and connecting with like users in a professional platform. Users typically upload a single headshot and not Aunt Susan’s entire baby shower. Summaries are confined and structured. It is simply the way that people approach the platform that gives it its clout.
I suspect LinkedIn will last longer than any other major asocial media platform out there today. The reason is because it has a laser-focused way of functioning and displaying content. Its business environment will keep knowledgeable users coming, where the noise is limited and the goal of success and prosperity is uniform. It is a different type of platform, for sure, because it is one not vulnerable to the whims and flows of its user base.Written by: Ryan