While early 2008 found enterprises buzzing about Facebook and some firms even adopted it as their Intranet platform, 2009 is seeing LinkedIn moving more rapidly to address enterprise social computing needs, according to research by independent analyst firm, CMS Watch.

CMS Watch’s 510-page Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration Report 2009 evaluates 26 social computing platforms against eleven potential enterprise use cases. Vendors reviewed include IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Jive, Telligent, Awareness, Drupal, SocialText, Lithium and Ning, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn.

"Both platforms are increasingly important to professionals worldwide, but LinkedIn is beginning to make more progress towards services that can support enterprise-oriented social computing," explained CMS Watch analyst Jarrod Gingras.

LinkedIn outperformed Facebook in CMS Watch's professional networking and community of practice scenarios. The report also found that from a functional standpoint, LinkedIn surpasses Facebook in information filtering and discussion -- although neither platform provides the broader blog, wiki and project tracking services that support broader enterprise collaboration.

LinkedIn is perceived as more professional by members. "Enterprises should not assume that their employees and business partners are comfortable mixing professional and personal personas on Facebook, especially beyond North America," concludes CMS Watch analyst, Adriaan Bloem.

Facebook is clearly the most popular public networking service, with a membership of 150 million that is expected to double in 2009. "There's good reason for all that growth," notes CMS Watch founder Tony Byrne, "and Facebook certainly has a better 'fun factor,' but I’m not as sanguine about the platform's business potential as I was a year ago, whereas LinkedIn seems to be pursuing a measured plan to provide more value to the enterprise."

The Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration Report 2009 is available for purchase online from CMS Watch.

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