Facebook to compete with LinkedIn as e-learning portal

16 Nov 2018

LinkedIn has some 13,000 courses on its site. Facebook has 13. But it’s the start of a new offering that may eventually position the social media leader as a competitive e-learning portal.

Facebook already began encroaching on LinkedIn’s territory as the go-to platform for people wanting to leverage their social relationships to find a new job. The company says that a million people have found a job via its Jobs functionality. “Learn with Facebook,” as the new feature is called, expands the social network’s value as a job and career site.

Learn with Facebook is not entirely new — it’s been available in India since 2017 and in Germany and France from earlier in 2018. The product got its own site and marketing push in the U.S. this week.

The site’s 13 “modules” are short — ten minutes or less — and geared mainly towards professional development in the areas of social media marketing, digital storytelling and how to ace an interview. Head of policy marketing Fatima Saliu, stressed that the new career modules are “the foundation and the beginning.” She said the target audience for the platform is adult learners, as well as those who have left the workforce and are looking to build or rebuild hard and soft skills to return.

Facebook has said in the past that it aims to train a million people and small businesses in the U.S. in digital skills by 2020. The company might consider acquiring other e-learning sites, added Saliu, much like Microsoft-owned LinkedIn did when it bought Lynda for $1.5 billion in 2015.

The new career modules are free and we’d expect them to stay that way —Facebook earns most of its revenue by selling ads, unlike LinkedIn which also has an extensive premium paid model.

The company is also expanding two other job-related services.

Mentorships, which launched earlier this year, will now be easier to manage. Previously, Group administrators had to actively match mentors and mentees. Now that can be done directly by the interested parties. Facebook will give users a list of mentors to choose from, although we wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook eventually algorithmically automates those suggestions.

A second tweak: Facebook users will now be able to post jobs directly to Groups, not just on the Jobs page or in their newsfeeds.

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Brian Blum

Brian Blum covers the U.S., Canada and Israel for Classified Intelligence Report, and contributes to our special reports and research projects. Originally from San Francisco and now based in Jerusalem, he has been with the AIM Group since 2004. He is the president of Blum Interactive Media, specializing in writing and multimedia content development for online, print, video and audio. His clients include newspapers, universities and non-profits. He is currently working on a book about the billion-dollar bankruptcy of a once high-flying Israeli startup.