Yesterday, TC broke the story about Google being in talks to acquire Katango. Since Facebook brought out the smart-list update, Google would want to respond and Katanga’s platform might just be an easy ticket.
However, the thought of FB & Katanga’s automatic listing/grouping together of people reminded me of something interesting that LinkedIn had unveiled earlier this year but got lost after an initial spurt of coverage: InMaps.
Isn’t that InMap, with its ‘Professional Networks’ just a smart grouping of my contacts into Circles? Exactly what Google wants to do with Katango and Facebook has already done with smartlists.
That information – professional association networks – is not very valuable to me (I know my professional circles) but possibly a gold mine for LinkedIn and anyone it may want to share it with. Wonder what’s keeping LinkedIn from tapping into this data and providing features like ‘Professional Circles’ – give people a platform to share & discuss within relevant circles – that might help develop LI as a better social network rather than the ‘just a job site’ that it is fast becoming.
Even more, however unlikely, what is preventing LinkedIn from making money from allowing sharing of these network links with either G+ or FB? (Only user initiated, of course). Or refining the algorithms to pro-actively suggest recruits to companies based not just on keyword match, but network affinity of current/past hires as well.
Basically, at a time when both Google & Facebook are using these features to enhance their networks, why is LinkedIn not pushing it? Specially, as far as I know, it was the first to launch the feature.