Friday, December 08, 2006

Social platforms: Xing and LinkedIn

These past days, there's been quite some discussion in the German news and blogosphere about Xing's going public. For Lars Hinrich, founder of the company that runs the social platform, it is not the first company, with his prior companies having proved rather unsuccessful. When looking at LinkedIn that is planning a German version of its socializing platform until March 2007 (with a possible IPO in the near future), a competitor that should be seriously considered is close. The main difference between the two platforms is that Premium Xing accounts cost 5,95 € a month, while LinkedIn ist (still?) free of charge for many functions. On the other hand, LinkedIn offers at least four different premium account types, ranging from $60 / year to $200 / month. However, I am not aware of how many users actually have a Pro account. As only about 13% of Xing users a willing to pay for a premium account, question is whether LinkedIn will be successful in reaching an equal share of users until the end of 2007. That's what LinkedIn's co-founder, Konstantin Guericke, announced, who recently gave several interviews (in German) related to the potential of socializing platforms. Of course this is biased, and time will tell whether Xing will remain as successful as it is now. What could be a potential added value to Xing to make a real difference?

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