LinkedIn has a new product that’s geared more towards building revenue than building relationships. It’s called Talent Pipeline, and it’s for job recruiters to go after “passive talent”: gifted potential employees who aren’t actively looking for jobs.
As blogger Lauren Fisher notes on simplyzesty.com, it looks like LinkedIn is “moving more into being a network for recruiters, as opposed to a pure-play social network for business types.” She predicts that Talent Pipeline marks a shift to LinkedIn becoming “a product simply for recruiters and advertisers,” rather than a place where real people have real interactions.
Maybe it makes sense. After all, Facebook, Twitter, and Google + have a tight grip on social networking, and LinkedIn has always been the more uptight and less interesting sibling. Going after the recruiter market and turning LinkedIn into a purely business-related product may prove lucrative, which would make investors who weathered a mediocre start happy.
As long as users continue to look to LinkedIn as a place to share with each other, though, be warned: LinkedIn isn’t just making money through banner ad revenue and things like Talent Pipeline. Its sharing buttons across the web collect a lot of information on users, tracking them wherever a LinkedIn button can be found. This information, in turn, is extremely valuable to advertisers.
Sharing buttons are more of a benefit to LinkedIn than to you. The wealth of information they provide is pretty shocking:
When you visit LinkedIn.com, it puts a cookie on your computer. That cookie stays on your computer and transmits information about you wherever you go.
Although not nearly as many websites have LinkedIn buttons on them as Facebook or Twitter, a lot of them still do:
If you want to amp up your LinkedIn privacy settings–and we suggest you do–Paul Laudanski wrote a helpful guide to protecting yourself. It covers everything from logging in to profile visibility.