This interesting blog post seems to indicate that Facebook is gearing up to take on LinkedIn.
I guess it makes perfect sense from Facebook’s point of view. Your network is the best place to find a new job. Facebook has the best digital representation of your personal network on the Internet. Personally, I maintain Facebook as a work free zone. I don’t friend coworkers on Facebook at all, and if I talk about my job at all there, it is only in the generalist of terms as it relates to my interests in technology. So Facebook becoming the hub for career orientated networking would force me to change how I use the site.
As it is, Facebook mostly replaces my blog for short updates, so just about everything I put on Facebook is stuff that I would have put on my blog previously. I’m not particularly worried about a potential employer being offended by something I say on Facebook. If they are that sensitive it’s not a good fit for me anyway. But given Facebook’s insatiable thirst for data about us and ways to monetize it, commingling too much work and play stuff here seems dangerous to me. Facebook could simply start treating employers like advertisers, and develop products around data mining our Facebook content. Suppose the employer wants to vet resumes against profiles of people that attend bars on the weekend? Attending a bar itself means nothing. You might be the full time designated driver for your social circle. However, Facebook won’t really know that. They’ll simply screen out your resume based on the request from the employer that they don’t want drinkers.
The potential for abuse if Facebook becomes the next LinkedIn is great, and for that reason alone, I hope it fails hard.