Thursday, April 7, 2011

LinkedIn versus Facebook in Korea

As elsewhere around the world, social networking in South Korea is in a rapid state of flux, in no small measure because of the proliferation of smart phones and the social capabilities that mobile devices make possible.  As noted in earlier posts, social networking via Cyworld arrived half a decade before Facebook appeared in the U.S.  However, with the arrival of Apple's iPhone near the end of 2009 and the rapid proliferation of Android devices, both Facebook and Twitter began to gain significant market share here.
Gigaom has an interesting article entitled "LinkedIn and Facebook:  Personal Versus Professional in the Identity Wars."    Like many users of internet services, I've found myself much more comfortable with LinkedIn than with Facebook, precisely because the former deals with professional identity rather than close family or personal ties. I suspect that Korean users of both services have noted this difference as well, especially since the boundaries between personal and professional, culturally speaking, are different in Korea than in the West.  This much can be seen from the rather dramatic differences between Cyworld and Facebook.  When it comes to social networking, it seems apparent that one size doesn't fit all.

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