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Facebook copies LinkedIn profile tags, created in internal hackathon

Facebook held an internal hackathon focused on bringing new features to the social network. While most of the features will never see the light of day, Facebook is testing profile tags, a feature that originated on LinkedIn.

It wouldn’t be the first time one of Facebook’s “tests” was a simple rip-off of another platform. Facebook has become the common criminal when it comes to stealing features, like the Snapchat-clone Poke app (opens in new tab) or the Trending bar, stolen directly from Twitter.


The new profile-tags will allow users to add words or phrases to describe them, like “activist”, “funny” or “scuba-diver”. This is useful for job searchers, although Facebook isn’t really the place where marketers and employers look, yet.

It could also be used for people to find friends that share the same interests.

Facebook confirmed it is working on the profile-tags feature, but did not say if it plans to roll the feature out to the public. Having another set of profile filling options on the Timeline sounds like a mess, considering how cluttered the Timeline has got in recent years.

Even though the social network has been focused on friend-to-friend connections for the longest time, now it is looking into news, business and potentially employment. The last part would be a direct attack at LinkedIn, the business social network.

There is over one billion more people on Facebook than LinkedIn, meaning employers should be more excited to use the platform to find candidates. The problem is most users on Facebook don’t want to be employed over the social network and want some separation between social and business life.

Facebook is working on a workplace social network using the same tools (opens in new tab), showing it has intentions to become relevant in the work place. Whether it can tackle LinkedIn’s enormous business dominance is another milestone however, and it may take a few years for users to seriously adopt the social network as a place to find work.

Source: The Verge (opens in new tab)

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.