Reachable CEO: Facebook Growing As A Professional Network

By Justin Lafferty 

While many people still say LinkedIn when they think of a professional network, the man in charge of Reachable, a social business application, says Facebook is quickly catching up.

In a guest post on Pando Daily, Reachable CEO Al Campa noted that more of his site’s users are connecting their Facebook profiles to make professional connections.

Campa wrote that last year, roughly 95 percent of new Reachable users uploaded their LinkedIn connections, indicating that the site was their primary source for professional contacts. In March of this year, only about 48 percent of Reachable’s users uploaded Facebook friends.

But in the past nine months, there has been a noticeable shift. Campa wrote that in that time period, 65 percent of Reachable users uploaded Facebook friends as professional contacts — a 35 percent increase over that period. Total LinkedIn uploads decreased to 88 percent. While LinkedIn is still the king of job networking, this shows that Facebook is closing the gap.

Campa wrote that the reason for this is simple. People spend much more time on Facebook than they do on LinkedIn:

I think this is an inevitable trend. Facebook has become the center of many people’s online existence and their primary communication platform; user stats show they spend hours each day on Facebook. LinkedIn is a place where people post their résumés and make a few business connections, but they only spend minutes per month there. This difference in time invested on the sites is why Facebook will ultimately displace LinkedIn as the default professional network.

We have heard from many of our customers that LinkedIn has several shortcomings as a source of connections. Due to the limited time users typically spend on the site, their LinkedIn networks can’t possibly represent everyone they know professionally. Most people don’t aggressively connect with co-workers and associates unless they are actively looking for a job. And those who do aggressively connect with others and accept every connection request wind up with a network of people they don’t really know — which does not help them when they attempt to use it.

Campa noted that people are starting to realize that yes, their Facebook friends have jobs, too. The colleague from college you added five years ago? The receptionist from your internship you added on Facebook? They can be utilized as job contacts, too. Campa wrote that LinkedIn will continue to reign as the professional network for now, as users feel free to upload resumés to the site, but the interactive nature of Facebook will probably slingshot it ahead sometime in the near future.

Readers: Do you use your Facebook friends to network professionally?