LinkedIn was historically a wonderfully passive social network. You kept your profile up-to-date and in return you were automatically fed changes in your professional network.
Simple and effective and a hugely useful return for very little effort.
Of course, that kind of utility and simplicity doesn’t drive a unicorn valuation or justify a $26.2 billion acquisition.
In the world of social media we all know that ‘free’ services aren’t really free. The monetization is just different. We’re the target for hungry advertisers and marketers.
So of course, LinkedIn transformed into a swamp of marketing and self-marketing and lost its way. It still retains the usefulness of timely updates from your network but the value:noise ratio is falling lower and lower.
That’s not even considering the absolutely awful, mind numbing humble-bragging or perhaps even worse the constant re-posting of fabricated social fiction with a moral ending.
Personally I’d be interested in a new venture that went back to the original LinkedIn purpose and stuck to it. No $26 billion exit but if it was done properly, hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue.
Sounds like a lucrative non-unicorn business idea. Competition is good.