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Everyone seems to be talking about how first Facebook and now Twitter are being adopted by business users, as if the concept of social networking in a business environment was somehow new. Of course, the truth is that services such as LinkedIn have been providing just that for many years now.

Indeed, LinkedIn has fairly quietly grown to some 51 million members worldwide now, yet still seems to struggle to command the same type of media pulling power that either Twitter or Facebook have when it comes to generating news headlines and publicity.

I suspect there will be no such problems today as LinkedIn cleverly announces what it calls an 'integration partnership' with none other than Twitter itself, allowing members to share their status updates between both services.

Unfortunately, while LinkedIn is getting all excited about "cross integration of the two networks through the Tweets app" which "allows members of LinkedIn to automatically share their updates on the professional network with their Twitter followers" and the ability to "select Twitter status updates to share with their LinkedIn network" simply by "adding the #in hashtag to tweets on the microblogging site" I am not jumping up and down myself. Well, at least not with joy or excitement.

It has been possible to do much the same between Facebook and Twitter accounts for some time now, and to be honest it has ended up driving me away from Facebook. I pop in rarely now, only if I get an email notification that someone I'm interested in catching up with wants to connect with me there. My problem being that I already see the updates that my friends post on Twitter, so why on earth would I want to see the exact same updates on Facebook as well? Now it looks like I'll be using LinkedIn even less than I do already, as I certainly don't want to see them all there as well.

"Linking the two together via simple sharing of status updates will add the broadcast power of Twitter to the collective knowledge and business insight of LinkedIn global membership" LinkedIn says in a statement, adding that the partnership will enable members of both sites to "collaborate more easily, communicate with their network and continue to become more productive and successful".

But I still don't get it, not least as surely most people tend to draw a distinct line between Twitter and LinkedIn, between professional and social networking. After all, the whole point of LinkedIn has always been as a way of connecting to other professionals within a business context. I consider LinkedIn to be more like handing your business card around at a conference, and Twitter more like texting your mates. Things do change though, and Twitter is no exception as it has proved recently when it found its voice and roared.

Sure, Twitter has been embraced by the new media business crowd, but more as a marketing tool than anything else and certainly not, as far as I can tell, as a true business networking service. Which leaves me wondering if this will be used more as a one-way medium with LinkedIn postings hitting Twitter far more than the other way around? How that will pan out is pretty unclear, as is how postings of a purely business nature will be received by the Twitterati. So far pure marketing campaigns such as the now infamous Moonfruit one have had a mixed reception, often creating something of a Twitter backlash against the use of hashtag spam. Will LinkedIn messages be treated the same way, as corporate spam?

The only thing I am really sure about is that LinkedIn will get some column inches out of this, courtesy of the Twitter connection. And that has got to be good for business.

Edited by happygeek: n/a

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by MktgRob
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I do agree with you. Twitter - anything says anything about everything. LinkedIN - its all about increasing your professional reach. Since this is now intertwined, only time will tell how this will have its effect.

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I know for some of my clients, they post similar items to twitter with links and then in Linkedin Groups that they are members of and I know a lot of marketing and PR people do the same. If the Linkedin/Twitter union works to eliminate this type of redundant posting efforts, many people will realize an instant benefit.

Twitter is pretty much becoming a DIY version of PRNewswire and Linkedin is professional networking without the crappy happy hour food and obnoxious drunks. If the partnership of these two bring these two worlds together (as I have found from networking events, unless you are looking for a job or looking to make a sale you are engaging in low level PR), I think the business use of twitter will increase. Just my humble opinion.

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ChaseNetwork...We are talking about social media website and not adult websites, right? LOL

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