There is never a dull moment on the train of LinkedIn updates and news. The platform holds steadfast in their reputation as a platform which evolves at breakneck speed.
As of June 2021, a swag of new updates and features have or are being rolled out and landed. As ever, new features are rolled out randomly and at times with pesky delay. Global coding glitches can thwart timings but circa 90% of members get access within 3 months of the first release batch
Changes to regulations and algorithm tweaks can appear almost overnight without official forewarning. Awareness mostly arises from international social media publications, training community testing’s and member observations.
Many updates and features sit in the shiny object corner of ‘nice to have vs must have’. And some changes in desperate need of attention are ignored, including content and member notifications. And in this current round there is a lot of very positive developments and some bring about more questions to what will come next.
Key 11 new features
Here is a run down of the major updates that impact profiles, company pages and content.
1. Creator Mode
Launched to support content creators and increase organic conversations and audience reach. Profiles will list up to five hashtags of the topics talked about (written) under the headline. Featured and Activity sections move up to showcase content and the Connect button automatically changes to Follow. More information from LinkedIn here
The use of hashtags in this feature indicates an ongoing focus of their importance for content search and topic relevance. Watch this space for further hashtag updates. Refer here for the Top 100 Hashtags.
2. Cover Story – video behind photos
A 30 second introduction video can be downloaded or recorded behind photos flagged by an orange circle around the photo and a 3 second silent clip prior to clicking.
A great idea giving personal brands impact. The uptake will be interesting across different sectors and levels in the race to stand out and differentiate brands. The current name/introduction audio feature has had minimal uptake so will be watching closely to see how cover story videos will be embraced.
Can only be activated on the Mobile App but visible on both App & Desktop. More information to use here
3. Posts – character increase
Newsfeed posts are given a character limit increase from 1300 to 3000. A welcome update giving greater flexibility to style, longer form content and storytelling.
Sometimes, ‘less is more’ and other times, ‘more is better’. There is no mandate to use all characters and sometimes brevity is essential, other times longer posts relevant. Until the Pulse Article’s are given equal algorithm weightage the eyeballs and reach rests in the Post rolling Newsfeed.
Content is king and queen on LinkedIn with many different formats.
4. Articles from LinkedIn (Company) Pages
Articles can be published from the company page. Surprising development indicating algorithms may favour company Articles and pay to play value.
NB: The whole Article issue needs redress as they provide highly valuable SEO, Google rankings and permanency of thought leadership.
5. Boosts of Posts – LinkedIn (Company) Pages
A Facebook-like ‘Boost’ option for Posts. The feature seeks to turn organic Page updates into paid ads, while also adding new tools to help maximize virtual events, and track their performance in the app. Highly targeted spend giving small and larger brands value.
6. LinkedIn Live Streaming on Banners
LinkedIn Live sessions streamed in real time directly on personal profile banners. The banner will automatically stream silently and when clicked go to the full session. A cool technical feature. As LinkedIn Live is ‘application only’ with low numbers accessing it, will this be foretelling an access increase and intention to take a greater slice of the Facebook live success?
7. Services Offered Page
Mini business page on the side of profiles listing services. Suited to freelancers with link to page and services on profile.
8. Gender Pronouns
Section next to the name field for gender pronouns. Several polls and discussions have indicated circa 65% view negatively and won’t use them. I personally think they look clunky and detract from the name and headline and creates more divide and judgement.
9. Event Chats
Access to LinkedIn Event Chats when creating a LinkedIn Event. All participants added in group messages for pre, during and post information to be bulk sent.
10, Product Pages
Product Pages (via Company page) gives a unique page and featured tab to showcase specific products.
11. My Company Tab
Tab appears on the Company page giving employee’s access to staff notifications, stock information (if applicable) and trending company content.
Invitation Connection limits being introduced. Automation (which is against the User Agreement) and spamming invitations have been a major concern. It appears a limit is being randomly introduced to address this at around 100 maximum invitations sent per week. Members are reporting account warnings and restriction notifications.
LinkedIn is in deep testing mode of an audio-based networking feature to rival Clubhouse. The differentiation to other platforms iterations will be the direct connectivity with profiles. Commentary is circulating that Creator Mode (see updates) is a preceding feature to support the audio networking functionality to topic forums.
The LinkedIn Transparency Report has demonstrated commitment to eradicating fake profiles (11.6 million last tracked circa 98% of last quarter measured) and reporting a significant crack down on inflammatory content and User Agreement breaches. This also indicates a very determined focus to address the issue of click farm bots and engagement pod activity.
LinkedIn had its 18th birthday in May 2021. There is no signs of slowing down with global membership hitting 756 Million and a 55% percent increase in conversations (reported by Hootsuite’s Marketing Update)
More changes are a given so expect the unexpected on this fabulous and valuable platform.
And in the words of Forest Gump: ”life is like a box of chocolates you never know what your going to get”