LinkedIn or Viadeo?
Linkedin, created in 2003 in the United States, and Viadeo, created in 2004 in France, both aim to help professionals get in touch with other professionals. They are now the two most popular competitors in the professional social network market. Viadeo generates 95% of its turnover in France, while LinkedIn is particularly effective internationally and is breaking through all over the world.
LinkedIn is the No. 1 professional platform in the world
In recent years, LinkedIn has experienced a meteoric breakthrough with popularity increasing year after year. The network currently has millions of registrations with 33% of professionals already on the site. While LinkedIn and Viadeo each have several million registrations, there are more active members on LinkedIn.
So in 2018, LinkedIn is the No. 1 professional platform in the world . For its part, Viadeo is about to put the keys on the door.
However, Konstantin Guericke, one of the five co-founders of LinkedIn, recalls their start: “ the first years were rather precarious. We weren’t the first, there was already Spoke, for example. At the time, we were seen above all as a Friendster me-too, which was huge: when the Sequoia fund took a stake in Linkedin, we had 40,000 members, Friendster, 4 million … “.
Why did Viadeo allow itself to be surpassed by American competition? What are the major differences between LinkedIn and Viadeo? What were the strategies to propel LinkedIn to the top?
The answers to these questions will help to understand how and why LinkedIn beat Viadeo.
The 6 reasons for Viadeo’s failure
1. Lack of international openness
While Viadeo generates 95% of its turnover on the French market, LinkedIn stands out for its international success. Viadeo tried to settle in China and India before a dismal failure. In addition to being open, LinkedIn regularly updates and is not afraid to innovate . Conversely, Viadeo considers itself to be lagging behind.
2. The lack of diversity in subscriptions
Most blogs or platforms use advertising to make them profitable. Unlike Viadeo, the founders of LinkedIn refused to place advertising at the heart of their model. To make the registrations on LinkedIn profitable, they preferred to offer premium subscriptions to allow members to have access to new features, adapted to their profile. To date, LinkedIn has four different subscriptions. According to statistics from LinkedIn, the revenues collected by advertising do not reach 20% of their turnover. The choice to make profitable through the premium subscription therefore remains a good strategy. Viadeo also offers a premium subscription system. But, unlike LinkedIn, it only offers one. Members are therefore restricted and do not directly have an offer adapted to their profile or their function. The only advantage of Viadeo is that it offers a cheaper subscription.
3. Lack of diversity of profiles
On LinkedIn, you can find job seekers, freelancers, micro-entrepreneurs, managers, CEOs, politicians, employees, etc. Viadeo’s mistake is to particularly affect the managers of SMEs. As a result, registered professionals find fewer opportunities than on LinkedIn, which also affects large companies. Viadeo affects executives and salespeople more in the regions, while LinkedIn is attacking the market for large companies and senior executives.
4. A less intuitive platform
You don’t have to be an expert to use LinkedIn. The American platform tends to be simple and fluid to provide an optimal user experience. Regular updates, LinkedIn continues to innovate and gain popularity, unlike Viadeo. If Viadeo offers new features such as the creation of events, its less intuitive platform makes the user experience worse than on LinkedIn.
5. A lack of visibility
LinkedIn allows its users to be referenced on Google. An interesting opportunity to stand out from the crowd. As soon as a registration is confirmed, LinkedIn opens a second public profile. Profile that can be viewed even for people not registered on LinkedIn. On Viadeo, you must be a member to see an entire profile on Viadeo. SEO suffers, and Viadeo members have less visibility compared to its competitor’s users.
6. Professional groups have not taken off
On LinkedIn, as on Viadeo, there are several groups classified by topic. We note that on Viadeo, there are fewer groups with more restricted themes. Joining a group is a good opportunity to share information and start a conversation with other professionals interested in this topic. In addition, groups are an effective way to make yourself known and prove your expertise. LinkedIn differs from Viadeo in the classification of posts. Viadeo opts for the ranking in chronological order, while LinkedIn ranks the posts by relevance. Therefore, to gain visibility on Viadeo, your post must be in the most recent. The French platform does not favor content, however valid and relevant it may be. On LinkedIn, the relevance of the content is highlighted. You will therefore be able to gain visibility thanks to your expertise. If you want to participate in groups to strengthen your credibility and position yourself as an expert in your field through content marketing, give preference to LinkedIn.
At first glance, Viadeo had everything to break through and become one of the major platforms in the world at the professional level. Her lack of innovation, the difficulty in adapting to a changing world and her lack of ambition pushes her, little by little, to close shop. LinkedIn has been able to open up to the international market, making essential functions available to users to enable them to be referenced and gain visibility. LinkedIn has been able to touch a diversity of profiles when Viadeo is mainly suited to SME managers. All these strategic mistakes have and continue to cost the French platform dearly and allow LinkedIn to remain the benchmark platform in the professional world. .