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Is Facebook Trying to Kill Off LinkedIn?

Possibly — but new jobs board doesn't look like a real threat


LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is a rarity in the social IPO space — namely, it’s a stock that’s actually showing more success than not.

But success has a way of attracting competition.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, it looks like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is making a play for a piece of LinkedIn’s business. In the two trading days since the news came out, LNKD’s stock has dropped about 7%.

Facebook’s plan is actually fairly generic: It will have job postings from third parties, such as BranchOut, Jobvite and Work4 Labs. It’s the kind of business that’s been around since the mid-1990s; one that Monster Worldwide (NYSE:MWW) pioneered.

Now, keep in mind that LinkedIn’s business is much more sophisticated. The company provides high-end recruiting services to employers. In fact, LinkedIn has more than 10,400 enterprises under contract.

It also seems unlikely that Facebook would want to go to the trouble of re-creating this type of infrastructure. The company still has plenty of potential to expand its social advertising offerings, as well as its payments business. It also could move into other categories like e-commerce or the distribution of movies and music.

Not to mention, Facebook has to fight its own reputation for being … well, mostly a place for people to hang out, not conduct business.

If anything, the company probably will let companies like BranchOut build apps to leverage the user base for recruiting purposes. There also are a variety of major companies — like Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) — that already have built their own Facebook career pages.

Facebook also has a partnership with the Labor Department to help promote job growth, so there’s the possibility that such a jobs board might be more about good PR than a viable business.

All in all — despite the hubbub — the Facebook jobs board likely is a non-threat to LinkedIn.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of the upcoming book How to Create the Next Facebook: Seeing Your Startup Through, from Idea to IPO. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli or reach him via email. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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