LinkedIn began, not as a social network, but as a business network. LinkedIn disallowed opportunities to post photo albums or to converse freely with the contacts. In the early days, the founders of LinkedIn saw an opportunity to create a social media site that was a little less “social” and a little more “professional.”
Even though LinkedIn has expanded with applications to allow for many of the things we can do on Facebook and Twitter, it maintains its identity as a professional networking community. The restrictions for connection with people on LinkedIn are tighter than either Facebook or Twitter. Those restrictions have been loosened in recent years, but you still must say how you know a person before you can connect.
In the early days LinkedIn began as a job search resource, head hunters as well as human resource professionals used LinkedIn to identify potential candidates. LinkedIn still serves this purpose, but it has grown to be a lot more than a hotbed for people looking for jobs. A strong professional network of trusted connections gives you a career advantage. Furthermore, the ability to quickly gain access to information and resources in this global economy will give you a significant competitive edge. If you see LinkedIn as merely a place for job hunting, you’ve missed a lot!