LinkedIn alternatives

Updated: July 12, 2019

2019. Google ramped up competition with Facebook and LinkedIn with new tools for local businesses


Google is still competing with Facebook and LinkedIn with its Google My Business suite. It's update includes a handful of other tools for making those profiles more appealing. Businesses can now add a logo to their profile, upload photos that are then displayed in a new dynamic module on their profile (and soon with captions) and set a profile cover photo. Again, more features to rival Facebook Pages. Businesses can now also claim a short name and URL for their business so they can more easily direct people right to their profile page. In a few more months, customers will be able to search Google Maps by these short names, as well. Also new today are welcome offers. This allows a business to reward a new customer for following them by offering a discount or some kind of deal.


2019. German LinkedIn rival Xing is rebranding as New Work



Xing, the business networking platform that has been described as Germany’s answer to LinkedIn, has made an acquisition to beef up its recruitment business ahead of a rebrand of the business as “New Work.” The company has also acquired Honeypot, a German startup that has built a job-hunting platform for tech people, for up to €57 million ($64 million). Xing tells us that Honeypot is its biggest acquisition to date. Xing said that it plans to rebrand as New Work in the second half of 2019, bringing together a number of other assets it has acquired and built over the years.


2018. Facebook takes on LinkedIn with Job Posts



Facebook is rolling out job posts (that were rolled out in the U.S. and Canada last year) to 40 more countries. Businesses will be able to post job openings to a Jobs tab on their Page, Jobs dashboard, Facebook Marketplace, and the News Feed that they can promote with ads. Meanwhile, job seekers can discover openings, auto-fill applications with their Facebook profile information, edit and submit their application, and communicate via Messenger to schedule interviews. Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook is focused basically on low-skilled job seekers. The update also brings more sections to discover jobs using filters like proximity, industry, and whether they want a full-time or part-time gig.


2015. Facebook At Work is not a LinkedIn killer



When Facebook promised to create an enterprise product Facebook at Work last year we expected it to be a LinkedIn competitor, but it turns out that it will be just another enterprise internal social network in already crowded space. The product (that is now launching in testing phase) puts Facebook head-to-head with the likes of Microsoft’s Yammer, Chatter, Slack, Convo, Socialcast and others. It would work much like Groups and public profiles do today. The platform will retain much of the current Facebook look and feel including the News Feed, groups, messaging and events. Employers can create separate log-ins for employees to use with their Work accounts, or users can link these up with their other profiles to access everything in one place. Facebook At Work’s app is now available for download in the iOS App Store (Android coming soon)


2014. Business social network BranchOut is sold out



BranchOut, the startup that attempted to create a “LinkedIn within Facebook” has been acquired by 1-Page, an HR software company for around $5.4 million. When BranchOut first launched, the company raced to popularity with a Facebook app that filled niche in Facebook’s platform: it offered users the ability to use their contact book on the social network as a professional networking tool. It picked up 33 million users and $49 million in funding on the back of that growth, but then the app died a death when Facebook changed its policies on how apps could spam users (or “make their growth go viral” if you are feeling more charitable). As part of the deal, Page-1 says it is buying this very app. It will use it “to create the most powerful employee referral engine for enterprises globally,” the company notes.


2013. Yahoo acquired social email-plugin Xobni



Xobni team celebrating with money-boxes from Yahoo. Email-plugin Xobni is quite popular among business users. Because it can turn your Outlook or GMail (or Yahoo Mail) inbox into a comfortable CRM system, showing the relationship history for customers and partners and their social profiles. In addition, Xobni (via its pane) allows to embed into your email other business applications (WebEx, Salesforce, Evernote, Jira ...). Remember, once Microsoft wanted to buy Xobni. Then Cisco invested in it. But it's unclear what will happen to Xobni. Since Yahoo will hardly support the plugin for competing services and mail clients. Besides Yahoo is not fond of business-oriented services. Note that this acquisition completes the sale of Email social plug-ins that raised in 2010. Recall, Salesforce bought Etacts, Blackberry bought Gist, LinkedIn bought Rapportive.