On Facebook, you would never consider connecting with that export manager in Beijing you’ve never met before. But on LinkedIn, why the hell not? She might get you a job one day.
On Facebook, people are delighted when you post photos of your cat basking in a patch of sunlight on the living room carpet. On LinkedIn, not so much.
On Facebook, when you want someone’s friendship, you send him a request. On LinkedIn, when you want a connection, you have to explain how you know that person, whether he is a friend or a colleague, what company you worked at together, how much capital gains he reported in his 2013 1099-DIV, etc., etc. Otherwise, LinkedIn gets kind of bitchy.
On LinkedIn, you can tell how many people have viewed your profile and, in most cases, who they are. On Facebook, you have no idea who has been clicking through your photo album, “Let’s Go Crazy–Cancun Spring Break 2009.”
On LinkedIn, your post announcing that you have successfully negotiated a truce to the civil war in Syria will garner two or three likes. On Facebook, your pronouncement that you just ate Count Chocula cereal for the first time since the early 1980s will get 46 likes, 13 enthusiastic comments and two shares.
On LinkedIn, your profile pic is a corporate photo of you in your best business suit. On Facebook, your profile pic is an iPhone photo of your kid running through the sprinkler in his diaper.
On LinkedIn, you can ask your top connections several times to please write a recommendation for you, and they never will. On Facebook, you can ask your friends what kind of dishwasher you should buy, and within minutes you will get 25 lengthy, detailed, unique pieces of advice.
On Facebook, you can rant and rave about your pet political issues as much as you want. You can do that on LinkedIn, too, if you think you will never have to look for a job ever again.
With Facebook, you might scroll through your newsfeed and even post something while sitting on the toilet. You would never do that with LinkedIn. It wouldn’t be professional.
Finally, on Facebook, you can visit a friend’s profile and immediately know their politics, how many kids and pets they have, whether or not they are divorced, and whether or not they are mentally healthy. On LinkedIn, all you know about a person is they worked 11 years at KPMG LLP and they like to share articles like “10 Can’t-Miss Accounting Software Solutions.”