Here’s LinkedIn’s Plan to Steal More Professionals from Facebook

LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) unveiled a new “expert influencers” feature Tuesday that it hopes will help attract more users to its website.

The online professional networking service’s latest addition is a panel of 150 notable industry leaders and experts who will share insights, advice, tips and general musings with the over 175 million current LinkedIn users. Similar to Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), members will be able to flag “influencers” they’d like to follow and will have access to any of the content those featured individuals post.

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The 150-person list of experts LinkedIn has assembled is an impressive one, touting the likes of President Barack Obama, Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, oil mogul T. Boone Pickens, Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark, and others.

LinkedIn’s goal is that the new sharing-and-following feature will foster some of the addictive quality that has made Facebook so successful, and even encourage professionals to spend less time on their Facebook accounts and more time keeping tabs on their favorite famous entrepreneurs and business icons via LinkedIn.

There is reason to believe it could work: if all goes according to LinkedIn’s vision, members will enjoy the Facebook-like experience of sifting through shared posts and comments for something that interests them. Only instead of everyday friends and high-school classmates, it will be respected public figures like the President sharing advice.

Success bringing over professionals from Facebook will ultimately mean more money for LinkedIn. The more often users log in, and the longer they stick around browsing the website, the more advertising the company will be able to sell.

LinkedIn appears to be primed for even more growth in the future, as it continues to develop new ways to match job seekers and employers.  The company’s stock has more than doubled from its May 2011 IPO price of $45.  Its shares were trading at $117.93 Tuesday afternoon.

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