Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Multiple Identities in Action: LinkedIn-Powered Logins Grow on Business Sites

Most of us play various roles in our offline lives–parent, employee, friend, etc.–and now it’s getting easier to express those multiple identities in the online world. (It’s a topic explored often on the pages of NetworkEffect.)

Indeed, people do seem to be separating their online professional identities from their personal identities more than they used to, now that the tools are available. Web users increasingly use LinkedIn to sign in to business-oriented sites, according to the social toolmaker Gigya.

LinkedIn started offering its credentials as a Web sign-on system early last year, and many business-oriented sites now offer users the option of authenticating using their LinkedIn account in addition to other options like their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Gigya has seen a major increase in LinkedIn log-ins to sites it identifies as business-to-business. Twenty percent of social logins on such sites used LinkedIn credentials in January 2011, up from three percent in July 2010.

LinkedIn accounted for 26.6 percent of social sign-ons in January on the stock market news site Seeking Alpha, 20 percent on the Harvard Business Review and 14 percent on the Internet Advertising Bureau site. (The rest of social sign-ons were through Facebook and Twitter, mostly.)

To be sure, LinkedIn is still a minority share of social sign-ons on such sites, and these numbers don’t include users who register for a site without the help of a social network, or users who visit without registering.

Plus, the trend may be headed in the other direction. Many people propose that our personal and professional identities will increasingly merge, especially for younger generations. That’s the theory behind the legion of LinkedIn 2.0 start-ups like BranchOut and Assetmap.

LinkedIn is the first major U.S. social networking site to file for an IPO. It hopes to raise $175 million.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik