Despite being virtually unknown in the US, and still somewhat hemmed in by its core German speaking market, XING, the LinkedIn competitor, refuses to lie down. And like a scene from the Rocky movie, it’s going into training to become better, quicker and faster than the LinkedIn machine. Although let’s face it, it has it’s work cut out as LinkedIn is now worth over $1bn and has 43 million members to XING’s 7.5 million. XING however is worth $213m and is publicly traded. And today XING launches a partner ecosystem based on 16 (count’em) OpenSocial applications from 13 partners, in 7 countries. LinkedIn currently has 9 applications.
Some XING apps will be be familiar to LinkedIn users: they will both have SlideShare and online workspaces from Huddle. But XING has has sourced heavily from European sources with apps from Doodle, Dopplr, Deutsche Welle, MindMeister, spreed, travelload, Tungle, sueddeutsche.de, Wallstreet:Online, WELT ONLINE and ZCOPE. The applications spread from news and project management through to travel planning and data sharing. They can be installed on your XING account here. As data protection and security are much more of a consideration in the EU, this is the world’s largest completely SSL-encrypted https installation of OpenSocial.
Stefan Gross-Selbeck, CEO of XING, says the over-riding idea is to concentrate on making Xing a hard core business tool. So it makes sense then that this first wave of apps – a second wave is already being planned I gather – is aimed at remote collaboration. That’s pretty similar to LinkedIn’s approach.
Back in October last year LinkedIn launched its OpenSocial-based platform
called InApps. But there users are restricted to including a maximum of 15 applications on their main profile pages – at XING they won’t have much restrictions, as it is instead going to give users their head in what apps they load onto their page. These will compliment the apps already developed by XING itself, including the XING News and Ask XING apps launched in May and the TwitterBuzz app launched in June.
Finally, it has to be said that although XING has clearly worked hard at integrating these apps, it can’t hide its German roots (users in the US won’t be making much use of the German news service apps for instance) so the question remains about whether XING can in the end break out to a more international scene, especially given its recent withdrawal from China.
Here’s their release on the new apps:
Doodle is a leading online tool when it comes to find the right time for a group of professionals to meet. It takes away the pain of email volleys and calendar notes and closes the gap between personal calendar systems. On XING, Doodle is enhanced with social features, e.g. you can see meeting polls in progress in common with your contacts.
Tungle.me, a first in click-to-meet technology, is the simplest way for professionals to make meetings happen. Tungle.me enhances a user’s profile by allowing XING members to view their availability and quickly schedule a meeting by proposing multiple times. When the meeting is booked, everyone’s calendar is automatically updated. Tungle.me syncs with Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple iCal and Entourage for Mac.
Huddle Workspaces offers XING members secure workspaces to privately share information and work together with their connections. Users can store and share files, collaborate on documents and create private discussions. With Huddle Workspaces, documents can be created and edited online, users may also post comments and request approvals. Tasks, whiteboards, phone and web conferencing are available upon synchronising with a free, full Huddle.net account.
MindMeister brings mind mapping to the web, using its facilities for real-time collaboration to allow truly global brainstorming sessions. Users can create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, anywhere through the award-winning web interface. Mind maps are highly useful to brainstorm and share ideas, manage meetings, structure documents and plan projects the easy way.
ZCOPE is an easy to use project management tool for networked teams of all industries working together from remote locations. It follows the agile method and is focussed on the essential in managing projects. Using ZCOPE, teams can share version-controlled documents, communicate via project blogs, and collaborate on tasks.
spreed is a web-based solution for organizing web meetings, online conferences and presentations in Europe and around the world. Using spreed, XING members can hold free-of-cost web meetings and telephone conferences, give presentations, distribute documents, or simply meet online with attendees.
That means: they reserve a meeting room, invite participants, and present themselves and their ideas to the audience, live on the Internet.
SlideShare allows XING members to upload PowerPoint presentations, Word or PDF documents, share them with other members, and to find expert presentations on a wide number of topics. XING members can use SlideShare to embed presentations or documents into their profile, and show off their expertise, product, or service to their network: yet another way to get even more business leads.
Dopplr: Where Next?
Dopplr is an online service for smarter travel. It helps you share your travel plans privately with friends and colleagues. It spots co-incidences and helps you make more of your trips. For example, it can tell you that three people you know will be in Tokyo when you are there next week. Dopplr’s Social Atlas helps you discover good places to eat, stay and explore while traveling.
travelload helps frequent travelers organize their trips, manage itineraries, and more. Create a personalized route itinerary, and post it on your XING profile, or download essential trip info onto your smartphone or mobile device, and take it with you wherever you go.
Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster that produces television, radio and online content in 30 languages. Its unique mix of news, background information and cultural highlights offers European insights to international issues to people around the world. The “DW News app” offers XING members the possibility to integrate current news from Deutsche Welle into their profile. Every member can adjust the settings to meet their needs. Besides selecting a language, it is also possible to illustrate subject headings in different ways.
For the numerous XING members in the Finance industry, the wallstreet:online app is the ideal accompaniment to a XING profile. wallstreet:online is the largest and most active financial community in Germany. Users can create virtual portfolios and watch lists, read news and view detailed analyses and opinions. By linking stock details to the latest community postings, the wallstreet:online app puts detailed market info just a mouseclick away.
One of the largest national daily newspapers in Germany, WELT ONLINE keeps XING users informed of the latest news, with comprehensive background reports, local issues and constantly updated focus topics.
sueddeutsche.de – CareerCamp
XING users can check their career opportunities at the sueddeutsche.de CareerCamp by taking tests on a variety of subjects such as etiquette, general knowledge or personality. Users can also see their ranking among all participants, or just their contact network. The app also features news and links to interesting and most latest articles on sueddeutsche.de, the online portal of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest daily quality newspaper.