Facebook to Allow Contact Grouping. Is LinkedIn history?

Facebook has announced that it’ll let users organize their friends into groups with different privacy settings for each group. This is one feature I’ve been waiting for since joining Facebook and that would allow me to add even more friends and acquaintances.

Currently, I keep most of my professional friends/acquaintances on LinkedIn and my personal friends on Facebook. I’d like to add more people to Facebook, since I find it much more useful and easy to use than LinkedIn, but Facebook lacks the necessary privacy levels to make this viable. Right now you can choose two types of friends, those who can see your full profile and those who can see only your limited profile… which works to a certain extent. Ideally, you should be able to group your contacts into say, Family, Work, Friends and assign different levels of access to each group. I’d also like to be able to select to which group something gets posted (so that I can spare my friends from enduring my technogeeky posts).

LinkedIn is much less interactive than Facebook. It’s sort of like fishing… you throw your resume into LinkedIn’s pond, sprinkle some connections and questions & answers to chum the waters, and wait for the fish to bite. Facebook, on the other hand, is like your cool younger brother. It lets you show off your cool videos, your awesome collection of links or even those photos from twenty years ago you found at the bottom of a drawer. You can also, if you so choose, sit back, relax and enjoy the view – popping in whenever you feel like it. It certainly offers a much more relaxed atmosphere than LinkedIn.

But can Facebook make the transition to a more professional network without destroying it’s relaxed, youthful qualities? Will you stop using LinkedIn (or Facebook)?

Chime in below with your thoughts…

4 thoughts on “Facebook to Allow Contact Grouping. Is LinkedIn history?”

  1. Carlos, LinkedIn seems much more like an almost static reference site, while Facebook feels more like an active communication tool.

    This may be, because at first LinkedIn made it really hard to connect, because they wanted to make micro-payments on those connections. They have since opened it up some, though I can’t talk to anyone outside of my circle, while in Facebook anyone is open game. LinkedIn feels byzantine and complex compared to Facebook.

    Also, It almost feels as though Facebook is trying to replace Outlook too, capturing messaging as well as contact information in a convenient place.

    I think when Facebook adds friend grouping, it will take even more of a bite out of LinkedIn.

  2. Carlos, LinkedIn seems much more like an almost static reference site, while Facebook feels more like an active communication tool.

    This may be, because at first LinkedIn made it really hard to connect, because they wanted to make micro-payments on those connections. They have since opened it up some, though I can’t talk to anyone outside of my circle, while in Facebook anyone is open game. LinkedIn feels byzantine and complex compared to Facebook.

    Also, It almost feels as though Facebook is trying to replace Outlook too, capturing messaging as well as contact information in a convenient place.

    I think when Facebook adds friend grouping, it will take even more of a bite out of LinkedIn.

  3. @Mike Rohde:

    Well put, Mike. LinkedIn is indeed quite static: this is my resume and these are my business pals. Enjoy.

    Facebook, on the other hand, is very dynamic and quite interactive. I’d love to see what happens when they add some business tools. The easy mix of private messaging and public walls would be a nice boost for any business relationship, provided we could keep these -if we wanted- away from the rest of our more private lives.

    I’d post a lot more on FB if I could group my contacts…

    The other area were grouping will help is in managing a large number of friends. Eventually people get lost in a sea of contacts and we’re back to corresponding with just a few of them.

    Tagging would be awesome as well, though I haven’t heard any plans for that. Tags would allow you to keep groups -to set privacy levels- and tags -to categorize your friends anyway you wish. Thus, you could send an article to your friends tagged “tech,” a blog post to those tagged “readers,” while keeping those not in the “family” group away from your birthday pictures.

  4. @Mike Rohde:

    Well put, Mike. LinkedIn is indeed quite static: this is my resume and these are my business pals. Enjoy.

    Facebook, on the other hand, is very dynamic and quite interactive. I’d love to see what happens when they add some business tools. The easy mix of private messaging and public walls would be a nice boost for any business relationship, provided we could keep these -if we wanted- away from the rest of our more private lives.

    I’d post a lot more on FB if I could group my contacts…

    The other area were grouping will help is in managing a large number of friends. Eventually people get lost in a sea of contacts and we’re back to corresponding with just a few of them.

    Tagging would be awesome as well, though I haven’t heard any plans for that. Tags would allow you to keep groups -to set privacy levels- and tags -to categorize your friends anyway you wish. Thus, you could send an article to your friends tagged “tech,” a blog post to those tagged “readers,” while keeping those not in the “family” group away from your birthday pictures.

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