LinkedIn, the professional’s social network, is redesigning its homepage in an effort to get workers to participate more. The idea seems to be to separate content from social events important to people you are connected with.
If you aren’t already using LinkedIn, there are plenty of good reasons to. The revamp, however, seems to be aimed at tackling the upcoming rumoured launch of Facebook’s entry into the workplace, dubbed “Facebook At Work”. Most news organisations, including The Financial Times and Forbes, reckon it will launch in January, so LinkedIn is getting ready to take on the competition.
While some suggest it can be distracting, we do believe Facebook should not be blocked at work. Facebook At Work is the social networking giant’s attempt to become a part of office life. Business Insider reports that a few companies are already trying out a pilot mode of the new service. An entry into the enterprise market would directly take on LinkedIn.
What’s New In LinkedIn?
LinkedIn does not specifically say the new layout is in response to Facebook, of course, but the tell-tale signs are there.
In recent times, the professional’s network has been focusing on making its users develop more content and post it on the site. That has led to some great articles from regular contributors, like the 10 best LinkedIn influencers to follow for job search and interview advice. The new homepage makes content even more important.
The significant new change is that the homepage now separates your “network” (the people you are connected with) and your “dashboard” (interactions about your updates). The actual content is still the same, but there is a clear demarcation now that makes browsing easy.
A new “Keep in Touch” box floats in the right sidebar, telling you about people in your network who have an important update. For example, if someone gets a new job, or if their work anniversary is coming up. Right from the box, you can like the update or post a comment about it, so that your interaction is complete without disrupting your flow.
At the top of the homepage is your dashboard, which shows how many people have viewed your recent updates or your main LinkedIn profile. If that number is looking a little low, you might want to take a few minutes to make your profile irresistible.
And your news feed is under that, which includes articles written or shared by your network as well as those recommended by LinkedIn Pulse, a listing of all the professional news that matters to you.
Why Does Content Matter On LinkedIn, A Social Network?
TechCrunch explains how these changes matter in making the user publish more content to LinkedIn:
The idea with the new page is to remove some of the busy behaviour on the pages, directing users to doing more on the pages by offering less choices. The tile-style layout, where each section operates like its own widget, further that idea.
The profile analytics at the top plays to our vanity — but also includes a link for users to update that profile, as well as drill deeper into getting more data.
GigaOm: When there are compelling articles and posts to peruse on a social network feed, its users stick around longer. And the best way to motivate users to post is to highlight the feedback they receive when they do.
Recode: All of this helps LinkedIn’s business, which relies on an active user base to lure hiring managers into posting their job openings on the service. If you’re reminded that your old friend got a new job, you’re more likely to congratulate her and rekindle that relationship — and visit LinkedIn more often.
The end result is a cross between a social network for business and a news blogging platform, both of which are centered around helping you gain more control of your work life.
The new LinkedIn homepage has already started rolling out to a few users, but will take till early 2015 before it is available to everyone. If you aren’t already a part of the tribe, you might want to dive into LinkedIn with five tips for beginners.
Would You Use Facebook Or LinkedIn At Work?
Early 2015 seems like it will be a showdown between Facebook and LinkedIn to see which of the two networks becomes the de-facto standard to use in the office. Which of the two would you prefer to use once they are rolled out?