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LinkedIn becoming an unexpected dating site shows social media's shifting landscape

Dan DeFrancesco   

LinkedIn becoming an unexpected dating site shows social media's shifting landscape

  • This post originally appeared in the Insider Today newsletter.

Happy Friday! For those of you in cold-weather cities, it's the time of year when a snowstorm can upend your day. Here are 10 items to help you get out of a jam during a blizzard.

Lucky for me, I'm escaping the cold for a few days. I'm headed to Las Vegas for CES, the big, annual trade show for consumer electronics. If you'll be there, drop me a line or keep an eye out for where free food is being served.

In today's big story, we're looking at how LinkedIn has become an unexpected dating site for some.

What's on deck:

But first, you have a new connection (in more ways than one).

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The big story


Looking for a romantic relationship can sometimes feel like a job, so why not treat it like one?

That's a growing trend on LinkedIn, where some people are using the professional network for personal connections, Kelli María Korducki reports.

Fielding romantic offers amid job postings and work updates doesn't sound like the stuff of romcoms, but the love-via-LinkedIn approach isn't that far-fetched.

In a world of carefully manicured socials, LinkedIn offers a more accurate representation of a person. Many profiles have verified their employment and include references from real people.

This latest dating revolution does come with downsides. While finding the one on LinkedIn might be a welcome surprise for some, not everyone is looking for love. Being #opentowork doesn't also mean being #opentohappyhouratApplebees.

Blurring the lines on a website focused on career development also creates a dangerous dynamic. It's another way people could leverage their positions of power over those looking to break into an industry.

LinkedIn has evolved from the social-media backwaters to a favorite among people barely old enough to work.

Sure, LinkedIn has gotten a bit weird with people oversharing, as Business Insider's Rob Price previously reported. But as "cringe" as LinkedIn can be, brands are starting to like it better than other networks, writes BI's Hasan Chowdhury.

The platform's evolution got me thinking about the wider social-media ecosystem, which seems to be on its last legs thanks to the rise of group chats and messaging apps.

TikTok: The new kid on the block. TikTok has grown from the pandemic's go-to spot for short-form videos to Gen Z's Google and main news source. But, TikTok's China-based owner could lead to trouble as geopolitical tensions remain high.

X: Long considered the pinnacle of social media and the internet's public square, the website has changed a lot under Elon Musk, to put it mildly. X will never go away completely, but it's also apparent its best days are behind it.

Facebook: The ship sailed on one of the OG social networks long ago. But the platform still holds considerable sway, with a user base encompassing about 40% of the world's population. However, growth opportunities in the US seem few and far between.

Instagram: Documents alleging Instagram knowingly has millions of underage users and a Wall Street Journal report on how it pushed "risqué footage of children" was not the ending to 2023 the company was hoping for. Its prime use case now seems to be watching videos you saw on TikTok three days ago.

3 things in markets

  1. It was another big year for Ken Griffin's Citadel. The hedge fund's flagship fund, Wellington, was top among its peers, with a 15.3% gain in 2023, according to sources. Meanwhile, rivals Point72 and Millennium posted double-digit returns. More on how other hedge funds performed.
  2. David Tepper's no-good-very-bad tenure owning the Carolina Panthers. The hedge fund billionaire isn't exactly a fan favorite of the NFL team he purchased in 2018. A dreadful 2023 season, coupled with a recent $300,000 fine for throwing a drink at an opposing fan, is the latest issue for the founder of Appaloosa Management.
  3. What keeps bullish investors up at night about the market. Ed Yardeni is as optimistic as any investor about this year, but still has concerns. Among the potential hiccups are the war in the Middle East and the Fed turning hawkish.

3 things in tech

  1. Inside Google's rocky path toward killing off web cookies. The search giant is on a deadline. Google announced that by the end of 2024, it would have a more privacy-conscious version of Chrome. However, industry experts aren't convinced the company will meet its self-declared deadline.
  2. Internet-based businesses have a looming problem. They experienced strong growth for the past two decades. But sectors like e-commerce and digital advertising may be entering a new, lower-growth phase now that they could be approaching saturation.
  3. The best Tesla Cybertruck review video yet. They're finally rolling off the assembly line, and one of the best EV reviewers in the industry got his hands on one. The nearly two-hour video tour covers everything: headlights, the steering wheel, cameras, software, and more.

3 things in business

  1. Bill Ackman's wife, academic celebrity Neri Oxman, plagiarized in her dissertation. Meanwhile, Ackman — a hedge fund manager and prominent Harvard donor — used plagiarism as a reason to push Claudine Gay out at Harvard. Oxman admitted to failing to properly credit sources in portions of her doctoral dissertation after Business Insider published its findings.
  2. How travel influencers are building lucrative businesses and side hustles. Many are using their unique travel knowledge to lead group trips and become travel agents. They leverage their followers to build lucrative side hustles — or even full-time businesses.
  3. Welcome to the Big Stay: Quitting your job is out. Job-hopping levels are back to where they were before the pandemic upended the labor market. But just because people aren't moving around as much, doesn't mean they're actually happy with their job.

In other news

What's happening today

  • The 46th annual Dakar Rally is today in Saudi Arabia. The car, motorcycle, and truck race spans 5,500 miles, starting in Al-'Ula and finishing in Yanbu.
  • Happy birthday, Diane Keaton. Bradley Cooper, Walter Mondale, Walker Scobell, Deadmau5, and Marilyn Manson were also born on this day.
  • Earnings today: Constellation Brands, and other companies.

For your bookmarks

Bedroom colors

A color expert shared the eight shades you should use in your bedroom this year. The eight colors will likely become more popular this year, including classic blue and soft green.

The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. Hayley Hudson, director, in Edinburgh. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York.

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