March 25, 2024

LinkedIn is on the way out


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Full ensh*ttification within 10 years, tops.

Here’s why we’re in the final decade of LinkedIn’s business social dominance.

First, a primer on the greatest take on the lifecycle of social media and online services – “Ensh*ttification.” (Or the less colorful “platform decay.”)

Cory Doctorow wrote about this concept in Wired magazine a year ago:

“Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die. I call this ensh*ttification, and it is a seemingly inevitable consequence arising from the combination of the ease of changing how a platform allocates value, combined with the nature of a “two sided market”, where a platform sits between buyers and sellers, hold each hostage to the other, raking off an ever-larger share of the value that passes between them.”

Facebook, Google Search, Twitter, Snapchat, Bandcamp, and post IPO-Reddit in the very near future. They’ve all fallen off and been displaced. And the series of event is observable with Linkedin *right now.*

👉LinkedIn monetized by catering to salespeople and recruiters.

The entire business model is based on upselling Sales Navigator and Recruiter licenses.

👉LinkedIn never attracted huge chunks of the population in the first place: academia, government, skilled trades, clinical, etc.

Office Dorks™️ forget how small of a niche this is to begin with.

👉Prices keep going up.

Ask literally anyone.

👉Non-sales/recruiters in “high value” niches were never that into LinkedIn anyway.

Even before the pandemic, software engineers in markets like San Francisco (or anywhere) were quitting LinkedIn. Not by deleting themselves from the platform. But by logging off and never coming back to update their profile.

👉Which brings to today: even the core Office Dork audience (sales and recruiters) aren’t updating either.

Our teams that recruit salespeople and recruiters have seen a sizable uptick in people who are looking with non-updated profiles.

For some it’s an extension of the gap-in-resume & green-banner shaming. For others it’s wondering if anyone actually cares what’s on their LinkedIn to begin with. (That’s what their resume is for!)

And if that continues, the real question we have to ask ourselves:

👉If LinkedIn ceases to be the “source of truth” of professional contact info…what value does it even have?

People forget the incredible feat that LinkedIn made 20 years ago: they convinced the entire business to opt-into a user generated, worldwide company directory. For free.

Do we really think that’s normal? Or it will last forever? Or that we can’t function without it?

Let’s be honest. LinkedIn is a punchline for literally every social media user who isn’t on it. 

Prices keep going up. People keep bailing. The ensh*ttification process is picking up steam.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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