In an effort to prove its own relevancy, LinkedIn is pandering to the current social need to feel as if we’re on-line important. If you’ve ever asked yourself “Does anyone even use LinkedIn?”, the email campaign, which congratulates users on having a profile that is in the top 10% most viewed, divulged that that they are reaching 200 million users.
Their bravado might come back to bite them once users start to really do the math on their effectiveness. For example, one of the services LinkedIn provides a user is the ability to see who has viewed the user’s profile. If I am in the top 20 million, and my profile has gotten a whopping 8 views in the past month, that leaves me to wonder how many people are viewing profiles on LinkedIn at all. Then, when I see the people who viewed my profile, and can easily surmise that these aren’t people interested in hiring me, I further question how useful the service truly is.
Additionally, once users who received the email indicating their status as elite were then prompted to tweet about it, the feelings of being special came to a halt. It didn’t take people too long to realize that being one of twenty million to receive the same distinction wasn’t really very special at all. Could LinkedIn be putting a spit-shine on their image in light of the buzz that Facebook may be purchasing LinkedIn in the near future? It’s possible, given the rise in stock prices that would lead Facebook to pay out the nose for a service it could most likely develop itself.