TechCrunch is reporting that one Microsoft employee has been able to join Facebook as part of the Microsoft network.
A quick search of Facebook turns up only one Class of '09 undergrad with the name "Niall Kennedy". It's hard to get an accurate number of the number of people on the Microsoft network, but there doesn't seem to be Google, Yahoo, or AOL networks on there yet (according to Inside Facebook, there are only 10 companies on Facebook so far).
Is this a good thing? On the surface, it looks like it will get more users on the network. But with already existing rumors that employers are already leveraging recent grads' logins to look at the profiles of potential new hires for "risky" behavior (partying, drinking, drug use, etc.), you have to wonder if this will hurt the utility of the college networks by forcing students to censor themselves or leave the network completely.
As a college student, I don't see much utility in letting someone on a work network see my profile. They could learn much more from me by reading my blog, and what they read hear is much more useful to both of us in terms of professional networking (as opposed to the social networking Facebook is optimized for).
Putting myself in the shoes of a work Facebook user, I don't see as much utility in learning about a coworkers favorite books, TV shows, etc than I do in learning about what type of projects they're working on, their title, where they fit in the formal structure of the company, etc. Of course, I haven't spent much time out in the work force, so I may be completely off base.
Anyway, I don't see this addition of professional networks of bringing much value to the network itself. What I do see it doing, however, is allowing bloggers at the companies allowed on Facebook to generate buzz about the network and drive up the perceived value of the business.
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