Linked In & Classmates.com on death watch
At the encouragement of someone I went to highschool with, I put up a Facebook page in April of this year. Not a very corporate thing to do, of course, but given the focus we have on technology at Wellington Financial LP, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Sort of.
A few months pass, and I’m now getting friendship notifications from people I’ve met through venture capital (or blogging) that certainly do not fit the normal Facebook profile. Click through their links, and you’ll see people that graduated from university in 82/83/84: which puts them in their mid 40s.
These are not the traditional Facebook fans, with 2010 as their highschool grad date, for example.
For weeks now it has been apparent that traditional business sites, such as Linked In, or the granddaddy for the mid 40s contingent, Classmates.com, are losing ground. It isn’t so much that neither has attempted to refresh their offering for an extended period of time. It’s that they are so static, something you’d refer to now about as often as your Geni.com page.
Linked In is useful for the “who has moved where” stuff, and the automatic changes to Outlook address cards is very useful, but there should be nothing stopping Facebook from offering a similar mechanism — other than the fact that most highschool students are probably emailing the Facebook development team with this feature request.
It may not be a novel observation (there have been DTM net nanny-type stories along the lines of “Dude, Your Mom is on Facebook”), but Facebook is slowly gaining ground with “older men”, which can only undermine its coolness I suppose.
Nevertheless, Linked In and Classmates.com are toast.