LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, appears to be moving more rapidly than Facebook to address the unique social computing needs of its users. The new data comes from research by Olney, Maryland-based independent analyst firm CMS Watch. In the CMS Watch's "Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration Report 2009," 26 social computing platforms are analyzed in relation to 11 potential enterprise use-cases.These social platforms, in addition to Facebook and LinkedIn, include IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Jive, Telligent, Awareness, Drupal, SocialText, Lithium, and Ning. In the report's "Professional Networking" and "Community of Practice" use-cases, LinkedIn out-performed Facebook.

LinkedIn is making more progress towards enterprise-oriented social computing, according to CMS Watch analyst Jarrod Gingras. Its functioning surpasses Facebook in Information Filtering and DIscussion, though as MediaPost Publications reports, "neither provides the broader blog, wiki, and project tracking services that support broader enterprise collaboration."

In the study, businesses can use LinkedIn groups as internal and external discussion boards and link-sharing areas. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn participants can be pre-authorized by e-mail domain, can keep track of discussions through notifications, and can search group content.These features are extremely useful in professional workflow, with individuals able to skip authorization with a work e-mail, as well as the other time- or work- saving elements.

Another differentiation for LinkedIn controls the release of several "approved" applications for professional use - Facebook allows any developer to post apps. This is similar to the much-maligned approval process that Apple iPhone/iPod Touch application developers must suffer before their creations are made avaiable on the Apple App Store. LinkedIn applications target enterprise users - SlideShare allows users to share presentations and make webinars, Huddle is for collaborating and sharing documents. There are no native document collaboration services on Facebook - the "Business" category in the App section is populated with a few career-based network tools and non sequiturs.