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The Difference Between LinkedIn and Facebook

Two popular social networking sites are LinkedIn and Facebook. While both are designed to connect people online, the two sites represent different types of connections with very different options and features.

Social networking services, also called social networking sites (SNS), are designed to provide the Web-based tools to let people build upon interactions to create online communities. Web-based social networking spaces offer a way for individuals or groups to create a profile of themselves, then share that profile with other members of the social networking space. The specific site will provide a variety of ways for users to communicate with others in the space, including instant messaging, chat rooms, e-mail or site mail, blogs, file sharing, videos, discussion groups, and so on.

Two popular social networking sites are LinkedIn and Facebook. While both are designed to connect people online, the two sites represent different types of connections with very different options and features.

Recommended Reading: "Social Networking Sites" in Webopedia's Quick Reference section.

What Is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a professional, business-oriented social networking site. Here, users can create a profile that is akin to a resume. Your LinkedIn profile summarizes your current and previous professional experience, your company and its industry and affiliates, your educational background, and any Web sites you own or are affiliated with.

By providing this type of professional information, you can then connect with colleagues, clients and partners. On the LinkedIn site you create a network that consists of "connections". Connections on LinkedIn are the people you know, and connections expand to include the people they know and have connected with on LinkedIn.

Some of the tools and features of LinkedIn include the following:

What Is Facebook?

The Facebook social networking site is used to connect with a variety of people — your friends, family and those you work with, go to school with, or people you used to be friends or classmates with. In a general sense, where LinkedIn is designed to connect professionals, Facebook is designed to just connect people.

When you join Facebook and create a profile, you will enter in key information which can help other people find you on Facebook. This includes; Basic information like name, birthday, hometown, political and religious views. In your profile you can also include contact information, your relationship details (married, single, and so on), and personal details such as your favorite teams, shows, movies, and books. Facebook also provides options for users to include education and work details.

When people search on Facebook they can, for example, search just by "hometown" or by employer to help them find people they know or to meet people with similar interests. When you add a connection on Facebook, it is called a friend. As you add friends you can also select a connection type that describes how you know or met this person.

Some of the tools and features of Facebook include the following;

The Main Difference Between Facebook and LinkedIn

LinkedIn is designed more for business and professional networking and offers a profile and options to network in a business sense. Facebook, on the other hand is designed more to connect family and friends. When you want to know where an old colleague is working now, you use LinkedIn. When you want to find out if that same colleague is married and if they have kids, you use Facebook.

Based in Nova Scotia, Vangie Beal is has been writing about technology for more than a decade. She is a frequent contributor to EcommerceGuide and managing editor at Webopedia. You can tweet her online @AuroraGG.

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