a writer's blog

If You’re Still Paying for Xing, Look Out for the Flies

It’s fine.

It’s fine.

When I started out as a freelancer, I let myself talk into subscribing to Xing Premium. It looked more respectable, and all my freelancer friends had it too. Kept it out of habit for far too long, until I finally took the opportunity to kick it when they raised their fee about three years ago.

Xing has always been a huge pile of garbage whose top offer for the Premium model, aggressively promoted in perpetuity, was the ability to check who had visited your profile. I mean, come on. How mature and shady at the same time is that! It’s like a playground game with stalking as its main attraction. Another example of the professional integrity of this network were their use of sneaky emails with contact suggestions that looked just like connection requests (the only actual request in this image is the one you see on top). Playground stuff again, this time with dark patterns and blatant lying.

I’ve kept using Xing for three features: keeping up-to-date when friends or former students in Germany switched jobs or got promoted; posting links to my blog posts and newsletters; and following group events (and sometimes discussions).

Now, the keeping up-to-date feature deteriorated rapidly when Xing’s algorithmic timeline became as predatory as anything you can find on Facebook or Instagram. For a while, though, there was a tab you could click on to switch to recent posts. That tab was killed last year.

Then, posting links to blog post and newsletters also become a chore, at least if you want to check how that post turned out and if the correct preview image came through and so on. As Xing’s algorithmic timeline immediately yanks your post from your view, you first had to click on the “recent posts” tab to check. When that tab vanished, there was a new tab for a while where you could check your own posts. That tab was killed too, later last year. Then, after some time had passed, they implemented a bottom banner pop-up that you could click to look at your post—but when you clicked on it once, it’s gone forever. From then on, it will take you four steps to access your own posts, and everything left that’s easily accessible is algorithmic garbage.

And now, as you might have heard, Xing Groups just shut down. All groups are deleted, and there’s no way to save their contents. (You can file a personal data disclosure request, but that would almost certainly not include the very data you want to preserve.) Oh, and Xing Events shut down too at the end of 2022. As did Xing Stories.

Reportedly, Xing shitting down on shutting down all these services is a “strategic reorientation” to shift Xing from a professional network to a “job community” with a focus on “vocational orientation” and “job satisfaction.” Good luck with that.

It stinks, and the flies are gathering. Honestly, I’d be surprised if Xing didn’t fold within the year.

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