Xing links up with ZoomInfo

Xing links up with ZoomInfo

Summary: While most of the attention on social networking attention is focused on Facebook, Xing continues to build out its social network of business connections. Today Xing, and its parent company OPEN Business Club AG, announced that it is partnering with ZoomInfo, a business data search engine that identifies company and people information, with profiles of 36 million people and nearly four million companies.

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While most of the attention on social networking attention is focused on Facebook, Xing continues to build out its social network of business connections. Today Xing, and its parent company OPEN Business Club AG, announced that it is partnering with ZoomInfo, a business data search engine that identifies company and people information, with profiles of 36 million people and nearly four million companies. Xing has more than 2 million members of its social network of business relationships, primarily outside the U.S.

The ZoomInfo connection will help Xing expand its membership in the U.S., and will be available to members in the fall, according to Lars Hinrichs, CEO of Xing.

Xing's main competitor in the social network of business relationships, LinkedIn, has more than four times the number of members. Xing's ZoomInfo partnership excludes LinkedIn from doing a similar deal with the business info search engine.

"The partnership gives us a great opportunity to gain access 36 million people, mostly in the U.S. LinkedIn has about 11 million members," said Hinrichs. "We are combining crawling for information and semantically generated profiles with the power of social networking, with the users generating the content. ZoomInfo has 4.5 million monthly users, who will be driving the registration process into Xing. It's a way to provide immediate value for U.S. members."

Xing members will have access to ZoomInfo profiles, and premium members earn the capability to contact the more than 18 million professionals profiled by ZoomInfo's engine. In addition, Xing members will be able to manage their own online profiles by monitoring the information captured by ZoomInfo.

Both Xing and LinkedIn will have to contend with Facebook. As Steve O'Hear points out in his blog, Facebook has become a place that combines professional and personal contacts and groups.

You see, nearly all of my Facebook requests are from professional contacts not purely social ones. (The main Facebook group I belong to is the web 2.0 group.) And with Facebook’s heritage being the college campus, it makes sense that young professionals (graduates) would start to utilize the site for more career-based networking.

Facebook’s new platform strategy also removes the friction to keep adding more functionality. If there is demand for professional features that are missing, anybody can come in and build them. Were Facebook to add even more flexible privacy controls, then LinkedIn [or Xing] might become irrelevant to non-paying users, eventually becoming less valuable to paying users.

Hinirchs doesn't believe that Facebook will affect his business. "The whole social networking area is dividing into two areas--dating and professional. You don't want to mix the two missions. Facebook will take over the social aspects and together with ZoomInfo we will go after business people worldwide," Hinrichs said. "Facebook is getting older people by broadening out, but the context is different. You are not going to do business on Facebook."

I don't think that Facebook, or Facebook users, will be content with just the more casual, social networking piece. I would also expect Xing and LinkedIn to build applications that hook into Facebook as a way to bridge the two worlds. The more pure focus on enhancing business relationships and career development will differentiate them for a while from Facebook, which will likely surpass 100 million members early next year.

Xing, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and others pioneering the social Web are still in the early stage of colonization, and focused on scaling fast. However, with a pool of billions of people who haven't yet created a profile, the opportunity is great, the cost low and the field wide open.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Networking

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  • ZoomInfo is not a social network

    While I can support XING's claim that networking is dividing into "dating" and "business", just has we have a private and a professional life, there are a number claims in the XING's press release I can't agree to. I have been using ZoomInfo for quite a while and like it. It probably best describes as the ?Google of people & company search?, though technically not correct.

    [b]XING states:[/b][i] ?The partnership will provide XING?s 2 million-plus members with immediate access to profiles on nearly 36 million business people and 3.8 million companies directly on the XING platform.?[/i]
    [b]REALITY:[/b] Any web user has access to ZoomInfo, in my browser its just a tab away, so for the user the added value is rather limited.

    [b]XING states:[/b][i] ?Under the terms of the partnership, all XING members will have access to ZoomInfo profiles and XING premium members will have the ability to contact over 18 million professionals directly and securely.? [/i]
    [b]REALITY:[/b] Above it states twice as many: 36 million business people. The difference in ?18 million business people? with no direct access probable derives from the fact that ZoomInfo does not have accurate or complete enough information on the other half of its profiles. There are also many duplicates, despite having integrated my profile on ZoomInfo last year I pop-up as 10 ?business people?. The name ?Lars Hinrichs? appears 12 times, at least two of them refer to the same ?Lars Hinrichs? partnering with ZoomInfo. Last but not least, as the profiles on ZoomInfo are search results and not member profiles, the whole issue of providing ?access? is non regulated. In other words, the ?access? is as good as access to anyone you ?google?.

    [b]XING states:[/b][i]?According to Nielson/NetMetrics, ZoomInfo is the fastest growing network in the country?[/i]
    [b]REALITY:[/b] ZoomInfo is not a network as we understand XING, Ecademy, Viadeo, Soflow, Neurona, socialBusinessClub, Academici etc to be. It?s a specialist search service.

    [b]XING states:[/b] [i]?XING members will also be able to manage their own online ?brand reputation? by monitoring their own web references to ensure accuracy and consistency.? [/i]
    [b]REALITY:[/b] Potential business partners or employers do not rely on ZoomInfo, LinkedIn or XING. What they want is information which is not ?self monitored? and therefore are likely to ?google? our names. Managing your own ?brand reputation? is an illusion running contrary to the principles of the other great buzz word: ?Web2?.

    [b]XING states:[/b] [i]?ZoomInfo?s 4.5 million unique monthly visitors will also be able to join XING?s business network directly with a simple two-click process.?[/i]
    REALITY: We accept that people using the internet or Google are not necessarily interested in business networks. Well, that someone uses a people search does not mean they want to JOIN a network. If they want to they will find they way to:
    LinkedIn, XING, Ecademy, Viadeo, Soflow, Neurona, socialBusinessClub, Academici or elsewhere.

    [b]XING states:[/b] [i]?With the successful IPO of XING as the first Web 2.0 company to go public, OPEN Business Club AG has had a long-term impact on the social networking trend amongst professionals.?[/i]
    [b]REALITY:[/b] I am nagging just because I am jealous?;-)

    Klaas Brumann
    http://fotoinsight.com/
    http://IITM.info/
    kbrumann
  • Question?

    I think that when people sign up for zoominfo they automatically have to sign up for xing? Is this true? If not I don't see this partnership as that effective. If people had the choice to sign up, then I would think people wouldn't care what xing is just another business network. Not only that, xing is a ridiculous name. Does it mean anything? Does anyone know how to say it? Chrising? haha
    spamer