Facebook plans 'professional networking'

LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, has recently raised $53 million in its latest round of investment and has been valued at a cool $1 billion. Not bad for the social network that many have pegged as 'boring' and 'straight'.

"We want to create a broad and critical business tool that is used by tens of millions of business professionals every day to make them better at what they do," said Dan Nye, LinkedIn's chief executive.

Average user ages

The average age of a LinkedIn user is 41, slightly older than the average age of a Facebook or MySpace user. And let's not forget that Facebook was valued at a whopping $15 billion last year, when Microsoft bought a small chunk of the company.

However, LinkedIn is purely business-focused, with 23 million members to date eagerly building up their professional networks to further their own careers (again, for context, Facebook and MySpace currently have around 115 million users each).

Business model differences

LinkedIn has a slightly different business model to Facebook and MySpace, with less reliance on advertising revenue and a focus on alternative income streams from premium subscriptions and recruitment agencies and human resources departments.

Facebook is also said to have its eye on 'professional networking' as a future area for development and revenue.

TechRadar has contacted Facebook's UK office today and we will bring you more news on those plans as soon as we get it. Right now though, we're off to waste more of our time poking our mates online and devising more effective ways of cheating at Scrabulous.

Adam Hartley