LinkedIn continue to cement their reputation as a platform which evolves at breakneck speed. At almost the mid-year mark, a swag of updates and features have or are being rolled out. There is never a dull moment on the LinkedIn networking and content train.
As ever, new features are rolled out randomly. Global coding glitches can thwart timings but circa 90 per cent of members get access within three 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 testings 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 notification preferences.
Here is a list of updates relevant to small businesses:
1. Creator mode
Designed to build content curators audiences and raise subject matter visibility. Lists up to five hashtags under the Headline on topics talked (written) about. Featured and Activity sections moved up and Connect button automatically changes to Follow. Activity section lists the latest six posts.
An exciting feature showcasing subject expertise and value positioning.
2. Cover story
A 30-second video downloaded or recorded behind the photo image when clicked with a 3 second silent clip running. Video indicated by an orange circle around photo.
Creative opportunity for impact. Will be interesting to observe uptake levels across different industries, roles and personalities.
3. Post size
Character limit of Posts increasing from 1300 to 3000. Wow!
4. LinkedIn Live streaming on banners
LinkedIn Live sessions streamed in real time on the banner image. The banner will automatically stream silently and when clicked goes to the full session.
A very cool technical feature. Given LinkedIn Live is ‘application only’ with low take up and glitches, will this increase access and improve the live feature and drive views?
5. Articles from Company Pages
Articles can be written from LinkedIn (Company) Pages also. Interesting development which indicates a stronger focus and algorithm value to company pages and articles in general.
6. Services offered page
Mini business page on the side of profiles listing services. Suited to freelancers with link to page and services on profile.
7. Gender pronouns
Section next to the name field for gender pronouns. Several polls and discussions have indicated circa 65-70 per cent view negatively and won’t use them. It adds clutter, impacts the UX and takes focus away from the name and headline.
8. 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.
9. Product pages
Product Pages (via Company page) gives a unique page and featured tab to showcase specific products.
10. My Company tab
Tab appears on the Company page giving employee’s access to staff notifications, stock information (if applicable) and trending company content.
To address use of automation and excessive invitation bots, a cap of circa 100 invitations per week appears to be in place. Members are receiving random restriction notifications.
A rival to Clubhouse is being tested with a social audio experience and profile connectivity.
Like death and taxes, more changes are a given! The focus on cleaning up fake profiles and User Agreement breaches will continue. The relevance of hashtags will amplify as will the value of longer form richer content.
LinkedIn can be like a box of chocolates as you never know what you will get. Thanks Forrest Gump! I look forward to reporting back at the end of 2021.