Viadeo is a social network intended for professionals. The application has been growing steadily, with more than 35 million users throughout the world in 2010. The website is available in multiple languages, including English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. The user can build profiles with photographs, contact information and more. Users can also maintain a list of their professional contacts. Viadeo helps the user identify contacts that may be useful to them through their extended network. Users can hold discussions that work much like threads, with a starter comment and responses listed below it. Users can also add their work history and professional skills to their Viadeo profile to attract headhunters and possibly find a new career opportunity through their social network.
Viadeo was founded in May of 2004 by Dan Serfaty. The company is based in Paris, France and remains focused on offering professional social networking features to users. The application received attention from investors who supported it during 2006 and 2007. In 2007, Viadeo acquired a similar China based network called Tianji and later a Spanish competitor called ICTnet. Viadeo also purchased a Canadian contact management website called Unyk. Today, Viadeo maintains additional offices in Milan, New Delhi, Beijing, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Montreal and Mexico City.
Viadeo offers a social network that is tailored to the needs of professionals. While sites like Facebook and Twitter might be appealing to businesses and individual professionals, they are not designed specifically for their use. Through Viadeo, user can showcase their work experience, skills and services and possibly make powerful connections that lead to career growth and development.
Anyone who has ever used Facebook will pick up on Viadeo quickly. The application looks much like the popular social networking website. Users can build a profile with a photo or image and their contact information. Discussions are posted as threads and users can easily sort or search threads to find specific items. Overall, user profiles and dashboards are simple to read and clutter-free to give the user a very clean, streamlined experience.
A professional can join the Viadeo community by clicking the gold “Register” button found along the right hand side of the homepage. The following page asks the user to choose their salutation (either Mr. or Ms.) and provide a first and last name, email address and password. After clicking the green “Join Now” button, the user is asked for additional career-related information including where they were born, their current position and company, how long they have held their current position, what industry they are in and what their current employment status is. This step can also be skipped by clicking the blue “Create Your Profile Later” link at the bottom of the form.
Viadeo invites all professionals and business owners to build a social networking profile for free. A paid premium account offers advanced features like unlimited search capacity, view unlimited profiles and see who viewed your profile. Users can choose for a subscription period of 3, 12 or 24 months.
Viadeo.com is intended for professionals. The application will not be very appealing to causal users who would do better with a site like Facebook. Career-minded individuals can make meaningful contacts and expand their professional horizons by participating on discussions and making connections on Viadeo.