LinkedIn launches German site to take the fight to Xing

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LinkedIn is launching a dedicated site for Germany where local – and floated – business network Xing predominates. LinkedIn had significant growth with sites for Spain and France last year – 200,000 users in two months and France hit 700,000. It has a an existing 500,000 in Germany, 80% of whom are usinng the site for English connections.

This is the fourth of LinkedIn’s country-focused sites. It has 41 which are simply translated versions.

LinkedIn now has 9 million European users, 30% are in IT, marketing and advertising and finance. Of course, during the economic crisis, those associated with financial and banking have gone up by 42%. UK traffic rose 40% in the last three months of 2008. EU managing director Kevin Eyres in London was hired last year to expand in Europe and that’s what he’s doing, apparently.

Xing currently has a market cap hovering at around $182 million, a fraction of LinkedIn’s reported $1 billion+ private valuation. And remember, LinkedIn can IPO anytime it likes. Xing has over 6.5 million members, about 510,000 of which are paying about $90 per year for a premium account to get full networking functionality.

In November Xing today announced its CEO Lars Hinrichs would step down and be replaced by Ebay Germany head Stefan Gross-Selbeck.

  • Mike D

    Probably LinkedIn should first fix all the errors and spam issues on their current site before focusing on creating more sub sites.

    LinkedIn continues to surprise everyone – in a bad way.

  • Matt

    Xing is the superior platform. Shame that in their business it’s about connections and you just find more of them on LinkedIn.

  • Peter Urban

    Curious to see how that plays out in in my jolly old home world.

  • Jojo

    I don’t really see how Linkedin can compete against Xing. Xing has such a strong position in Germany and unlike Studivz they are innovating and not standing still. This will be a long and hard fight for Linkedin with an unknown outcome.

    I am not so sure how important international connections are. I would assume that the most people on Xing don´t even have international connections to maintain.

    • Matt

      Just like any other networking platform, this is about where to find the most connections. Xing is trying to expand abroad but despite a big ad campaign in London last year, I still struggle to find UK contacts on Xing. I still merely use it to keep up to date with my German contacts. The fact that LinkedIn is now trying to cause trouble on Xing’s hometurf means that they need to get a move on abroad. Your questioning of the importance of international contacts is interesting in its own right, but I don’t think Lars and the Xing team are going to be content with just being No.1 in Germany and nowhere in Europe let alone the US and Asia.

  • Frankie

    Social-networking becomes an international battleground. I, for one, am very interested to see how this plays out.

  • Programmer Helper

    I am not so sure how important international connections are. I would assume that the most people on Xing don´t even have international connections to maintain.

  • SpeedMan

    Germany will be am Tough Nut without ans local presence they are going ton fail keep fingers crossed

  • Philipp

    I wrote an english article on this a couple of days ago. As a heavy German Xing user i am still really worried about their business outlook.

    They currently lack feature innovation. I also see facebook as the real threat as facebook is really taking of these days in Germany. Who the hell was studiVZ, again?

    Would appreciate your feedback on this. Cheers, Philipp

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  • Janes

    More for information >>>


    I would say the general business for a social network vs a business network is bit different …

    as a business network hey have much more to consider local aspects whom they partner with, consider local conventions and stuff like that.. depends how they approach the opportunity.

  • Maarten

    Oh boy, just tried out LinedIn. This site is a big mess, compared to Xing. Full of spam, ads and UI clutter. They should sign up at Xing first and see how it can be done.

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  • Ed

    Because I do business in the German speaking and English speaking worlds I use both sites heavily. Xing is far superior in functionality, and very heavily entrenched.

    In my opinion the best Linkedin can hope for with this is to distract Xing with this and keep them focused on DE, thus allowing Linkedin to grab share in other markets (southern Europe). A better strategy in my opinion would be to focus on trying to lock up the rest of the world (LatAM, Asia, AuNZ, India)

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  • Paul

    Xing has an incredibly active real-life community. I got to know most of the people I connected in Xing personally on the so called Stammtisch and Events which are organized by the group moderators. The primary factor is networking for business and dating with people with the same interests.

    There is no way another network to replicate the same business model, it doesn’t make sense for users/moderators to move to another similar platform.

    Facebook may have chances against StudieVZ but LinkedIn not against Xing. They are wasting their money.

  • Stefan

    I, for one, welcome our new Uberlords….

    Hopefully this is a wakeup-call for Xing. They have had the exponentially better functionality for years, but somehow they dont get the same traction that LinkedIn has.
    To me LinkedIn always was a pimped up address book, while Xing is a business network. LinkedIn is finally adding some functionalities it long needed, but as mentioned above, it all works very haphazardly at the moment.

    When I want to look someone up, I use LinkedIn – if I want to *talk* to someone, I use Xing.

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  • ovoss

    German interview with Reid Hoffman. He says, the launch of german version took so much time, because of Xings strong position. About the 2008 planned 100 Mio $ revenues: “We came close”.

  • Nicole Simon

    Who cares about an IPO? People will never leave Xing to have their only profile on Linkedin, not even the people who really really want an alternative and hate Xing (for various reasons). They may take away their premium membership, but will not leave Xing entirely but play both worlds.

    In the big game of the world, Xing is not significant compared to Xing maybe – but in the German market, Xing is the absolut leader. I would assume that out of those 500K members on Linkedin, at least 95% have a Xing profile as well and if asked which one they use for the German market, 99% of those will answer Xing again.

  • zondel

    in case they can strike some local partnerhips i would say, that linkedin definitely has a chance to succeed …
    since lars hinrichs left – and he is no on vacation until summer – things have changed a lot at XING.
    competition is always good – as a user i am positive that linkedin offers now at least a choice.

  • cruel to be kind

    Linkedin taking the traditional approach in Germany and why that will fail (as usual)…

    TC UK writes about “LinkedIn launches German site to take the fight to Xing”, writing about the significant growth of Linkedin and how few users Xing basically has. Missing the point once again: Of course in the general world wide market Xing looses …

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  • Peter

    I have used both Xing (for German) and Linkedin (for US business contacts) for many years and do not expect to see a reason for change soon.

  • Jiya Nas

    Go Germany!

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