About three months ago, we reported that Facebook was testing a new feature that would allow companies to post job openings on their Facebook pages, and accept applications directly through that channel. That feature is now being rolled out to the United States and Canada.

Our initial report carried some relevant data about why Microsoft should keenly watch this space and Facebook’s moves. Their main purpose behind acquiring LinkedIn last year was that it gave them a platform to connect directly with nearly half a billion business professionals. But it also gives them revenues to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every quarter. Here’s an excerpt from that earlier article dated November 8, 2016.

“A key point to note is that LinkedIn’s revenues basically come from three product lines: Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions and Premium Subscriptions. The revenue distribution for these three segments shows that Talent Solutions brings in the bulk of their income. For the most recent quarter ending September 30, 2016, Talent Solutions brought in $622.7 million against a total of $959.79 million. Of that, $556 million came from hiring alone, which is nearly 58% of overall revenues.”

That’s chump change for Microsoft, but it does support LinkedIn’s growth and sustenance needs. More importantly, it offers a platform on which Microsoft’s SaaS products can be served.

But now, with Facebook ready to challenge them in the talent acquisition space, should LinkedIn and Microsoft be worried?

It would appear so. Facebook has a reach of over 1.8 billion across the world, and users spend as much as 50 minutes a day on the platform. And, now, with Facebook Messenger and other standalone apps to increase engagement, it’s very likely that the average person is spending in excess of an hour a day on Facebook and its digital properties. And that’s not even including acquired properties like Instagram and WhatsApp.

Moreover, Facebook’s engagement rate has always been the highest of all social networks, including LinkedIn. The professional networking site does have a lot of advantages, but recruitment is one of its strong points. And that’s exactly the business Facebook wants to take away from it.

Again, this is something Microsoft should be watching closely to see how popular it becomes. Since the people are all on Facebook rather than LinkedIn, companies might actually shift base to find the right talent.

There’s also the advantage of being able to learn about the broader interests of a person apart from their professional talent, experience and qualifications.

That’s not to say that the job posting feature on Facebook pages is going to wipe out LinkedIn. That’s not likely to happen. But the very real possibility is that Facebook could take valuable market share from LinkedIn in the jobs market over a period of time.

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