Just hot off the press that LinkedIn is buying Pulse (http://allthingsd.com/20130311/linkedin-to-buy-pulse-newsreader-for-more-than-50m/), a very popular and successful customized news site with huge subscriber numbers. Am I jealous that they didn’t buy our site for a reported $50m-$100m since we are also in this space, www.thenewsfunnel.com???? Absolutely!!!
Seriously though, its a smart move by LinkedIn. But it also got me thinking about sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and others that have this unyielding desire to grow, grow, grow. Lately I have been reading a lot about how Facebook is suffering from user fatigue. I wonder as LinkedIn tries to be all things to all business users, will they suffer the same fate? I often hear from my HR friends or professionals in biz dev that LinkedIn is a highly effective tool for networking and recruiting. I get that. But news as well? What’s next in their pursuit of even more scale and will it dilute their effectiveness and core value proposition?
What’s fascinating to watch is how these social media sites become so obsessed with the numbers game and never seem to stop scaling. What is the motivating factor? Is it the number of users they have? Is it profits? What’s also so interesting to observe is how oftentimes while these monster sites are growing in huge numbers, more nimble, more creative and original sites like Instagram, Pinterest and others seem to see opportunities to challenge these mega sites and are luring users away. It’s only a matter of time until some social networking site for business professionals comes along to challenge LinkedIn. (I am sure there is already one in fact).
So my question is, “Is bigger better?” or “is just being better, better?”