One of the *New* features that’s being tested on LinkedIn allows companies to connect with people who know job applicants and ask them to provide candid references.
On the wake of the Facebook privacy issues, LinkedIn is now opening up its network to employers in a way that individuals never anticipated and that violates the norms of the hiring process. Traditionally, employers ask for references and candidates provide names of people who they believe will speak favorably about them. LinkedIn now allows the employer to bypass the request for references and source references directly. This will produce a less biased (and less favorable) assessment of the candidate, giving even more control to the employer and less to the job seeker.
Many developers are jumping on the Facebook bandwagon. The advantages are enticing: a stable platform that can potentially simplify product development and a large customer base to tap into. However, choosing to the well-defined Facebook route is often done in lieu of developing a well thought out business strategy. Let’s look at it from a few angles…
- Using existing platform can potentially save development time – the more time it will save, the more reason there is to go with platform
- Easier to acquire customers – does not require users to change existing habits, and only requires a one-time action (adding widget) rather than returning to a new website
- Potential limitations of Facebook API
- “Faddish” nature of facebook means your business will be dependent upon facebook’s continued success
- Limited to facebook’s market segment (shouldn’t pose a problem for an evite-like service)
- Competition intense with other Facebook apps
- Is it easier to start with a Facebook app and later tie it to a standalone website, or to build the standalone product first, then integrate into facebook later?
- How do we intend to monetize?
- What flexibility might we lose from choosing either option?
Developing an app within Facebook should never become the sole product, however depending on the advantages/disadvantages outlined above, it may well make sense to develop the facebook app first in order to bootstrap the company.