LinkedIn CEO hints at IPO

Do you ever stop and feel sad for Friendster? Me either, but if there was any room in your tiny, cynical hearts, you could. Yet another social network that's not the original is talking about taking big money moves. This time it's LinkedIn. CEO Dan Nye recently told Newsweek the company isn't interested in acquisition offers, but that an eventual IPO is likely. The only potential hitch, of course, is Facebook's newfound popularity among business professionals.

Facebook's fastest growing demographic are those 25 and older. Members can now check off "networking" as an interest in their profiles. But Nye said he's doesn't feel threatened. Why?

Semantics. Facebook, he explains, is a social network. LinkedIn is for professional networking, he said. Oh. OK, so that doesn't really explain anything. But we'll help. One actual reason Nye can be optimistic is that unlike Facebook, some members find LinkedIn's service worth paying for. Nye said premium memberships will have grown 300 percent by the end of 2007. That's because LinkedIn is essentially a business-to-business play, which some human resource departments depend on to help find new talent. Of course, Nye didn't give actual numbers for premium memberships. It's easy to grow 300 percent if you buy a membership and get three friends to sign up.