Is LinkedIn becoming the Facebook for professionals?

The professional networking site has been removing and introducing new features to the site which are not being received by all users with welcomed arms, despite a growth in revenue the network has reported a net loss of $13.4 million.

LinkedIn is competing with the likes of Facebook and Twitter who like LinkedIn are constantly evolving to meet the changing requirements of their new and future users. Facebook and Twitter are diversifying from being just a place to socialise with friends, family to also being used as a social media marketing tool for both businesses and individuals. As LinkedIn’s competitors grow, to avoid being left behind LinkedIn is attempting to become a more socially friendly place. It isn’t to say that you cannot become friends with your LinkedIn contacts but the lines between all the social networks is becoming more blurry as they compete to maintain and increase users whilst also generating a profit.

Features

Polls

As part of its overhaul LinkedIn removed the polls feature in 2013. The use of polls was a good way to engage people’s opinions and encourage them to comment. LinkedIn are going that one step further by removing the ability to create a poll within a group, this will be removed this month.

At LinkedIn, we strive to provide a simple and efficient experience for members like you. So we continually evaluate how our current products and features are being used. This sometimes means we remove a feature so we can focus our resources on building the best products.

•The LinkedIn Polls app was retired on June 30, 2013.

•Note: A similar feature for polls in groups will also be retired effective May 15, 2014.

Endorsements

The site introduced their endorsement feature.

The idea sounds positive but it is becoming a case of you endorse me and I’ll endorse you. I’m not how seriously these are actually taken.

Site Wide Automatic Moderation

Many LinkedIn user’s will be now be aware of the sites Site Wide Automatic Moderation (SWAM). This is LinkedIn’s attempt to tackle the issue of spamming and abuse in groups. The initial idea behind this sounds promising until you have been SWAM’d. This feature allows anyone in the group to flag a post which then sends the original poster into moderation across all their groups. Users are not aware they have been SWAM’s until they try to post something to a group board and it is sent to moderation. Previously users were not able to find out which group had blocked or deleted them but now a blue box will appear in the group where it all began. SWAM’d users can be in a state of for an length of time, some have been unable to post to group boards for over a year whilst other it is a week.

Additional changes

LinkedIn are telling me when it is someone in my contacts birthday. I understand LinkedIn are trying to move in a different direction by encouraging users to be more engaging and social but I don’t see the need to say ‘Happy Birthday’, that type of thing I would save for a different social network.

I enjoy reading the various articles written by ‘experts’, it is not so much the topics of the articles that I have an issue with but it is other users’ behaviour when it comes to commenting. When posting something on a public site the writer is usually prepared to receive some criticism however for a group of people who are meant to be professional some of the comments I have read are rude and can result in off topic bashing. Instead of commenting on the points made in the article the main focus readers become grammar nazi’s or it turns into a personal attack on the writer. Surely LinkedIn should be tackling this type of behaviour?

The sites wants its users to engage with each other but risk a temporary suspension if someone does not agree with their opinions and flags their post. The site wants to be content driven but why write a well thought out article if readers are not willing to give constructive criticism? Change is not always a bad thing but is LinkedIn heading in the right direction with its current and future changes? LinkedIn like to think they are, not sure if their users would agree.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s