Xing is an application that may be used for networking between business professionals. Similar to LinkedIn, Xing users can enter relevant business and professional information and connect with others with similar interests. Building a network of business professionals worldwide is the main purpose of the application.Show more screenshots »
Xing was initially established as Open Business Club AG in August 2003 in Germany by Lars Hinrichs and Bill Liao. The name was changed to Xing in November of 2006. Over the next several years, it merged with social networking businesses in Spain, Turkey, and Italy.
The Xing platform is a social and business networking tool for professionals. Over eight million people use Xing in one of the sixteen languages currently available. The site has approximately 150,000 unique visitors each month.
Xing’s main competitor is LinkedIn. Both offer similar services and platforms, although LinkedIn’s service offers more access to non-paying members. Xing seems to attract more small businesses and independent business owners than its competitors.
Setting up a profile on Xing is an easy process. Information is via fill-in or drop down menu. Plugins are available for importing address book contacts from Outlook and Lotus Notes, Firefox quickfinder Xing search, Xing searchbox for browsers, and the Xing Windows Vista desktop app.
The search function is extremely limited for basic users, allowing only keyword, name, and basic information. Many results only display names and profiles to premium members.
Groups are available for a number of different categories. They may be sorted by language, but many do not have descriptions of the group’s interest. Requests must be made to the group leaders prior to acceptance.
Overall, the site is intuitive to use. Once contacts are imported, global networking opportunities open up – primarily to those with premium memberships.
Users may set up accounts quickly with full name, email, and password.
XING’s basic features are free to use. Premium memberships are offered at a cost of $5.95/month for a two year membership, $7.95/month for a one year membership, or $9.95/month for a three month membership. Premium membership offers advanced search options, identification of visitors to the user profile, personal messaging, job posting, special offers, an ad-free profile, and document upload and storage.
Small business or independent contractors willing to pay for a premium membership will likely reap the most benefits from Xing. Many of the businesses using Xing are European-based, so finding US business contacts may be a challenge.