Facebook’s latest project could bring LinkedIn to its knees

8 Nov 2016

Facebook and LinkedIn. Image: Twin Design/Shutterstock

Facebook has taken on Steam, Slack, news sources, shopping channels, Snapchat and YouTube so far – now it’s LinkedIn’s turn to feel the burn.

Facebook is testing a new feature that will let users post job listings and receive applications from candidates – a clear attack on LinkedIn’s established modus operandi.

LinkedIn makes its money from users and companies who pay for a premium product, allowing them to post and apply for jobs, connecting with people they feel will help further their career.

Facebook LinkedIn

If Facebook gets in on the act without charging anything directly, it puts some dark clouds on the horizon for LinkedIn.

“Based on behaviour we’ve seen on Facebook, where many small businesses post about their job openings on their page, we’re running a test for page admins to create job postings and receive applications from candidates,” the company told Reuters.

The numbers aren’t behind LinkedIn, despite its established presence in this space. With less than 500m members, it pales in comparison to Facebook’s 1.79bn.

If Mark Zuckerberg’s company can make this stick, it could really damage LinkedIn, only months after Microsoft’s $26bn purchase of the professional social network.

It’s the latest in a long line of additions to Facebook’s core service, with the social media ethos going more social and more media than ever before.

Facebook’s role in shaping the media landscape has never been greater. Through its instant articles tool and general feeding of users towards news, it has become one of the general news cycle’s dominant players.

So much so, that the European Commission is planning a series of reforms that would allow online publishers to seek payment from services like Google and Facebook to establish what it calls an “equal footing”.

It has targeted Slack’s success, too, last month creating a tool aimed at a workforce that has already grown up using Facebook.

The company’s productivity and communications platform is being made available to any company on the planet that applies to use it. You could think of it as Slack as designed by Facebook engineers.

Snapchat’s success in the ephemeral sharing space has led Facebook to attack it from two sides, with Instagram and WhatsApp getting in on the act. Steam, too, can’t rest on its laurels with Facebook around.

Elsewhere, Messenger is primed for a leading role in the shift away from multiple apps, into a world of conversational commerce, where chatbots let users buy and sell products within the housed instant messaging app.

So LinkedIn could, at a push, be flattered that it too is in Facebook’s crosshairs.

Facebook and LinkedIn. Image: Twin Design/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic