Understanding — and Taking Advantage of — the New LinkedIn Changes

May 15, 2017 2:18:42 PM

By Cathy Cain-Blank

Change. Bob Dylan and David Bowie sang about it, and we all know that it’s the one true constant in life. And while there are many changes occurring throughout the world these days, this blog is going to focus on something lighter yet still vital when it comes to business: LinkedIn changes.

As anyone who has ever been on a social media platform knows, change is inevitable. Sometimes, social media changes are universally panned (Facebook auto-play videos, anyone?), but usually when a social network sets out on a major overhaul, it’s for the good of its users.

This is certainly the case with the new LinkedIn changes. Earlier this year, the business- and employment-oriented social network rolled out the largest desktop redesign since its inception, in an effort to make the platform easier and more intuitive to use. Key changes included streamlined navigation, smarter messaging, and a richer, more informative Feed.

What You Need to Know About the New LinkedIn Changes

Once you log into LinkedIn, you’ll notice the changes right away. There’s a cleaner, updated user interface and a new color scheme. Once you get the hang of things, the updates make it much easier to build your profile, grow your network, and/or find a job.

Still, with any technology overhaul, there’s bound to be some growing pains. Here are the top three LinkedIn changes to keep an eye out for, and what you can do to navigate them.

The New Look — Is This Facebook?

Let’s get this out of the way first. Yes, the new LinkedIn looks and feels like Facebook. And guess what, it was intentional — and with good reason. As LinkedIn Senior Director of Experience Design Amy Parnell told Wired, “The goal with this design was to simplify and create focus. The best way to do that was give users an experience they already understand. We’re a social network, Facebook is a social network. The types and interactions and behaviors you see on the platforms are similar.”

Fair enough, and the main thing you should take from that is that if you know how to use Facebook, you know how to use the new LinkedIn.

LinkedIn’s updated homepage features a small snapshot of your profile on the top left of the page. If you use the LinkedIn app, you’ll notice that this snapshot looks the same as your profile on the app. The top middle of the page features the standard box when you can “Share an article, photo, or update.” New here is a button to “Write an article,” which takes you to LinkedIn Publishing. If you frequently use LinkedIn's Publishing Platform, this will be a welcomed change for you. And if you’re not using LinkedIn Publishing, what are you waiting for?

Below the input box is the new feed, which combines an updated algorithm with automation and human curation. The idea here is to deliver you relevant content from the people and companies you care most about (yes, like Facebook does).

Finally, the top right of the page is the updated “Who to follow” box, with a link to a redesigned recommendations page that makes it much easier to find and connect with like-minded individuals.

I Saw Jeff Weiner’s Personal Vision Statement Video — Why Can’t I Do That?

In case you missed it, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner (and several others) posted a personal vision statement video, seemingly opening the doors to native video content on LinkedIn. And that is the case, kind of.

For now, only LinkedIn influencers can post native video content, but LinkedIn does plan on rolling this feature out to all users sometime in 2017. This will be a huge boon to the social network — and your business — as video has essentially taken over social media. Facebook and Twitter focus heavily on native content, and according to Brightcove, social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined!

Once LinkedIn rolls out the ability for everyone to post native video content, you better make sure your team is ready to take advantage.

Better Messaging, Better Connections

We can’t talk about the new LinkedIn changes without discussing the new messaging features. And the most exciting of those features is suggested responses to the InMail you receive. Now, you’re given the ability to respond with a simple, preloaded message that says whether you’re interested now, later, or not at all. It saves you time and hassle and gives anyone who reaches out to you a clear indication of your interest level. Also, you can only reach out to someone you’re not connected with by sending an invite, so unwanted spam messages will be greatly reduced.

The other messaging change we’re really excited about is the ability to send instant messages from anywhere on the site. Instead of having to navigate to the messaging page, you can click on the little Messaging window at the bottom right of the page and access your inbox and chat away (again, like on Facebook).

The Messaging box will follow you regardless of where you go on the site, and notifications will pop up if you get a message while you’re on LinkedIn. Not only that, the Messaging window will show you relevant people you might want to connect with based on what you’re viewing, making finding and securing new connections, leads, and jobs much more streamlined.

There are other LinkedIn changes — and more to come — so log in and dive in today. Your favorite business-centric social network isn’t what it used to be, and that’s a good thing.

At CC Marketing and Communications, we have mastered the art and science of marketing. If you need help with your marketing — or with the new LinkedIn changes — contact us today.