Today’s increasingly social-media driven job market makes it essential to know your way around LinkedIn, the top business-oriented social network on the internet. LinkedIn makes it easy for employers to find potential employees with a few clicks of a button, and, in turn, for members to showcase their skills and experience. LinkedIn recently unveiled an update that aims at making the site even more useful for networking and business opportunities. What do these changes mean for you? I’m glad you asked! Let’s take a look at six things you need to know about LinkedIn’s new update.
1. Streamlined Desktop Site
Before the January 2017 update, LinkedIn’s desktop site was very different from its mobile site, which was given an overhaul in December 2015. This could be confusing for users who switched back and forth between using LinkedIn on their phone and their computer, so the update aimed at giving consistency to the two platforms. The desktop redesign was largely based on the earlier mobile app redesign.
If you mainly use the LinkedIn mobile app, you will find the desktop site much easier to use after this update. And both mobile and desktop users can rejoice at the update, because the increased compatibility between the behind-the-scenes software means that updates and improvements will be more frequent for both mobile app and desktop app.
The move towards simplicity and streamlined design has been sweeping the internet in the last year or two and LinkedIn’s update reflects that trend. After the update, desktop users can use a single search box to search for people, companies, jobs, schools, and groups, adding filters as desired. Notifications have also been overhauled, so that all notifications, whether they’re InMail, or invitations to connect, show up in a single feed.
The simplified design makes LinkedIn easier and more intuitive to use, and means you have to spend less figuring out how to navigate the site. The cleaner layout gives you the information you need without overwhelming you with visual clutter.
While the update simplified the desktop site’s layout, it also placed increased emphasis on the news feed, which is now in a central position on the home page in a single column, immediately drawing the user’s eye to it. The box that lets users share an article or update has also been expanded, encouraging users to post more.
The cleaner, more focused look is definitely easier on the eyes than the cluttered, busy news feed of the past. By introducing a visually pleasing, easy-to-navigate news feed, LinkedIn is trying to make the site become a place where users can go, not just to network and search for jobs, but to see relevant news and useful articles as well.
Social networks constantly struggle with the problem of how to make sure that their users see the posts of their friends and connections without getting buried under a flood of posts. LinkedIn addressed this issue with the update, introducing improved algorithms and the ability to hide or unfollow posts. LinkedIn’s new and improved algorithms will also offer suggestions of new people to follow, and recommend sponsored content.
LinkedIn is aiming to make content more personalized and relevant to each user, so that you see more content you’re interested in. Thanks to the new update, you are more in control than ever of what you see on LinkedIn.
5. Integrated Messaging System
Private messaging is an essential part of any social network, and LinkedIn is no different. In fact, private communication is even more important on LinkedIn, where messaging can lead to networking and real job opportunities. LinkedIn’s update reflects the importance of this feature, since it gives messaging a more prominent place on the site. You can now contact another user from any page on the site, using a pop-up messaging system similar to Facebook’s Messenger feature.
The new messaging system means you can contact other users without interrupting whatever else you’re doing at the moment by navigating to a separate messaging page. The update makes it easier to connect with other users, to have more real-time interaction, and to make more meaningful connections.
6. A Sign of Things to Come
LinkedIn’s new update isn’t just a one-time thing--it’s part of a trend to make the site more tailored to the needs of today’s users. The external changes to site layout and the like are a sign of bigger changes under the hood, designed to make it easier to update LinkedIn in the future. The changes are ultimately aimed at making the site more appealing to young professionals who are just graduating college--LinkedIn’s most rapidly growing user base.
The new update makes it clear that LinkedIn is here to stay, and that it will continue to grow and change in order to help facilitate a new generation’s entrance into the workplace.