News Corporation, which is the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, recently announced their plans to create a new social networking website aimed at professionals, similar to the highly popular LinkedIn.
In January of this year Rupert Murdoch who serves as the CEO of News Corp. admitted that the company’s 2005 purchase of MySpace was a failure. Now Murdoch is betting that a new social networking site aimed at finance-minded entrepreneurs and business people is their next step.
The new endeavor from News Corp. was announced at an investor day meeting in New York City on May 28th, 2013, and is to be called the ‘WSJ Profile’. The new social networking site is being developed to offer a platform for discussion of business matters between Dow Jones customers.
Lex Fenwick who serves as the CEO of Dow Jones gave a 20-minute discussion at the meeting on the new social networking site and said he wishes to transform the Wall Street Journal away from just a business and financial newspaper. He also stressed to point out that the Journal is the most trusted business publication going and that they are in print around the globe.
“If you build applications and become a platform, it does lots of magical things that help us,” Fenwick said. “It increases the customer stickiness and it means the customer spends longer on the site then he or she previously was. It allows targeted advertising as you start to understand more about your customer, what their interests are and what they may care about.”
Fenwick told his audience that the site would have a ‘proprietary messaging platform’ that will allow customers to talk to one another but none of the content is stored or seen by Dow Jones.
The WSJ Profile is being touted as a direct competitor with the business-networking site, LinkedIn, but some are suggesting it may simply be a forum where business people can talk and share financial ideas with others.
Only time will tell if the new business-minded social networking site will be able to lure in their dedicated readers. More importantly it must be noted that there have been dozens of business-minded social networking sites that either failed or just never reached the popularity of LinkedIn. Nevertheless, none of those sites had the audience nor the history like that of the Wall Street Journal.
Fenwick said the site should be available in a couple of weeks and that it will also offer an online storage locker and a news feature alert for breaking news stories.