It’s been a big year of changes on LinkedIn. Seemed like every second week a new update or feature magically appeared on our screens. Or something was moved around such as the configuration of the Privacy & Settings fields.
Mostly we all know of changes from the grapevine as LinkedIn rarely give any pre-warning of updates. And no, there isn’t a set analytical method or criteria for the roll outs as they are mostly random and staggered. Mind you, the Stories feature this year was an exception.
And there is always ongoing Beta testing and tweaking of notifications, feed options. Ah often too hard to keep up with and then the next day they have disappeared again.
Many awesome new features were released along with some that were unwelcome to enrich how members networked and engaged. And being human on LinkedIn was so important this year.
Features and updates
To keep readers up to date here is a list of the key new features and changes that rolled out this year. Some amazing, some not so.
- Interface design – In September a full interface design overhaul was rolled out with new muted colours and brand images
- Polls – Autonomous post tool to gain top-line sentiments and feedback on topics and opinions with a post introduction. Easy to use with 4 poll options and variable dates.
- Name Introduction – 10 seconds to record a voice message next to the name field.
- Reactions – A set of six expressions that offer members a way to more easily participate in conversations and communicate with their network. You can use those six options in reactions to comments.
- About section – Increased character on profiles to 2,600 characters. No excuse not to share brilliant well laid out information and branding.
- Headline – Increased characters to circa 180 on desktop, a bit more on mobile
- LinkedIn Virtual Events – New integration with a landing or company page and event feature to host and promote events, can stream with ‘LinkedIn Live’.
- Featured Section – High visibility branding section taking centre stage on profile with a carousel of videos, multimedia, articles and website links
- Dwell time – New system designed to classify content and algorithm weighting based on time actually engaged on content. This has a direct impact on minimising gaming and bot activity. Several months after the rollout the platform is also seemingly giving 48 hours and more for the life of content to gain traction and distribution based on the dwell AI.
- Messages – A real overhaul here. Includes option to edit and delete unread messages, set ‘away/out of office’ automatic responses and set up video meetings directly in messages on mobile with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Verizon.
- Company Pages – Renamed as ‘LinkedIn Pages’ and given a fresh feel and new dashboard of analytics, advertising and events interface features. Viewing the names of followers was released and the function given to invite them to follow your page.
- Stories – Stories came out mid-year. Only available on mobile for 24 hours. Similar to Instagram Stories.
- LinkedIn Live – Still rolling out (invite and accept) but it has had little uptake given poor quality and reliability.
- Newsletters – Invite only but seems to be given at random. Outstanding tool for content in the Article section to have subscribers and instant Notifications of release.
- Sales Navigator – Changes to tag functionalities and lead saving tools.
- Careers – Skills assessment, career path insight tools, learning tools. A free #OpenToWork photo frame and transition discussion tool.
- Advertising Products – Updated targeting tools and campaign management functionality has significant upgrades, especially across geo-targeting and sponsorships.
Adding Links & Re-sharing Posts
Until around April 2020 posts with links were penalised for reach and distribution. But since that is no longer the case which is great news.
But what has remained the same is that re-sharing a post is of no value. And posting an external article has no real bearing on reach either.
To add links inside a post use the ‘Create-Edit-Add’ method. Just create/post then edit & add the URL & Update. There is no need to add them in the comments with a ‘see link in comments. Doing that actually reduces good user experience and your post value.
Looking forward to 2021
We will see more changes in 2021 and hopefully redress of user experiences, notifications options and even a return to article getting more algorithm love.
So do get planning and cracking to use the platform and features to raise your visibility and impact. And wishing everyone a 2021 that has joy, meaning and success