LinkedIn’s secret anti-Facebook weapon: Keg Stands

November 17, 2010

BeerKeg LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has two words that reassure him that his professional social network is not threatened by Facebook: Keg stands.

Weiner took a moment to explain the ever-popular college tradition of imbibing beer directly from the tap of a keg while being suspended upside-down by drinking mates during his talk at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

“While many of us in college probably were at parties having a good time, doing things like keg stands, or being exposed to keg stands, I don’t know that many of us would look forward to having a prospective employer have access to picture of those events,” Weiner said.

The point, he explained, is that most people prefer to keep their professional online personas and their personal personas distinct.

Facebook, which has more than 500 million users, is increasingly interested in having various industries, from commerce to music, build social versions of their business on top of its vast social network.

One potential ramification of this could be to negate the entire raison d’etre for separate networks like LinkedIn.

But Weiner argued that while LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are often lumped together in a broad social networking category, all three represent separate social platforms that serve different needs for people.

Nor he did appear to see any pressing need to connect his company’s smaller, 85-million member-network with Facebook. “It depends on the value we could create for members as a result from that and the value we could create at LinkedIn, sustainably, over time.”

(Photo: Reuters)

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