Facebook is testing a feature that helps users find mentors, which could make it more competitive against LinkedIn as a professional networking platform, according to TechCrunch.
Users would be enabled to find mentees as well through the feature, though details on the actual process are scarce.
Once matched, the feature lists common interests, friends, education, and the respective professions of the pair. The isn’t Facebook’s first attempt to become more attractive to working professionals — it launched the ability to post job openings on Pages in February of this year.
The new mentorship feature can help Facebook increase time spent by professionals on its platform and entice additional ad spend:
The feature shows how LinkedIn and Facebook are adopting similar features.
Facebook’s mentorship and job ads listing feature represent how the social platform wants to become more like LinkedIn, which currently has both of those features. On the other hand, LinkedIn has made strides to become more like Facebook, such as when it rolled out native video uploading in July. However, users may be hesitant to switch over to Facebook for professional networking and job seeking services, as some users prefer to keep social and professional activities in separate environments.
Professionals spending more time on Facebook can be beneficial to advertisers.
The mentorship feature could cause working professionals to browse Facebook for longer periods of time, in search of potential mentorship opportunities. Many LinkedIn users are high earners — forty-five percent of US adult internet users with an income of higher than $75,000 annually are on LinkedIn — and if they transition to Facebook they should be attractive to advertisers.
Additionally, Facebook risks compounding its already declining user engagement in its push to become more like LinkedIn. Users may become more selective in what they post and ultimately share less content if Facebook does succeed in increasing time spent browsing among working professionals, because users will likely aim to convey a more curated and employable image of themselves on the platform. This could mean further declines in user engagement for Facebook — users posted one-third less content in 2016 than in 2015 on the platform.
Social networks are here to stay, and they’re constantly evolving. Globally, more than 2.8 billion people — or 37% of the world’s population — use social media, but the way those users interact with each other, and the platforms they adopt, vary widely.
Kevin Gallagher, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a report on social media demographics that highlights the key audience demographics for six major social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. It also:
- Breaks down the reach of social platform audiences in terms of age, income, education, and gender.
- Examines how time spent and monthly users across major age brackets have changed in the past three years.
- Explores the preferences of US teens and young millennials, and how they’re changing.
- Identifies the most important demographic changes that advertisers should monitor as social platforms continue to grow.
This article was originally published on Business Insider.