Comparing Membership For LinkedIn, Viadeo & Tianji, Xing, Academia.edu and ResearchGate (April 2014)

Comparing Membership LinkedIn,Viadeo & Tianji, Xing,  Academia.edu and ResearchGate

I’m gearing up to do some presentations in May, one will be an updated repeat of the co-presentation I did with ECU’s Research Librarian Getting found using social media to build your research profile, the second will be a an extension focusing on content: where you can share your work and activities.

As a result, I’ll be doing quite a few research-focused posts over the next 3 weeks to compare platforms and look at relative benefits and pros and cons. I also want to explore some of the literature and researchers documenting their experiences as well, should be fun 🙂

Today though, let’s consider professional profile platforms in terms of membership. For this exercise, I am considering LinkedIn and it’s competitors: Viadeo & Tianji (Tianji is the version of Viadeo for China) and Xing (primarily focused on the German-speaking world)*, and also the two main profile platforms for academics and/or researchers: Academia.edu and ResearchGate.

[*I wrote a post in August 2013 about LinkedIn, Viadeo and Xing: Quick Overview of Professional Profile and People-In-Business Focused Networking Sites; if you’re interested).

I would never argue that amount of members is the sole reason to prioritise a platform, it should always be the most effective way to realise your objective(s) for setting up a professional profile, but there are instances where membership can play a part in making your decision, so here’s a visualisation of the membership of each as a percentage of the monster in the room (LinkedIn has 250 million members as at April 2014):Infographic comparing membership of LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo & Tianji, Academia.edu and ResearchGateAs at April 2014, membership for each platform is published as follows:

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3 Responses to “Comparing Membership For LinkedIn, Viadeo & Tianji, Xing, Academia.edu and ResearchGate (April 2014)”
  1. Eduard Bopp says:

    Uhm… in the graphic you scaled the radius of the circles representing membership proportionally to the number of members. That sort of overemphasizes the ratios, as I think one intuitively assumes the _area_ to be proportional to the number of members. I’m thinking of a bird’s eye view of a crowd of people gathering on the ground for instance. And suddenly LinkedIn does not appear that much bigger any more, does it?

    • Hi Eduard,

      I actually scaled the circles representing membership to how much the membership for any given platform would represent on LinkedIn (given LinkedIn does have the biggest membership, by several clear miles). So each circle represents a percentage, not the number of members.

      Hope that helps.

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  1. […] we’ve looked at the membership of popular professional, academic and researcher focused social platforms, it’s time to consider other factors that should come in to play when you prioritise what […]



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