LinkedIn has released a new home page design for its many professional users, according to a June 26 company blog post. The move comes almost exactly a year after the full redesign of the social network’s home page, and adds history information so users can see more details on past activity. The move is a promising effort in the direction of simplified analytics tools for the average social user.
LinkedIn is all about connections, particularly connections that will help employees find new jobs or seek better positions. The new features seek to augment connections by providing professionals with a closer look at which members they have recently visited and who has been examining their profiles. The first feature, “Who’s Viewed Your Updates,” gives users a quick view of who has viewed, liked and commented on updates within the past 14 days. Interestingly, this little tool also adds a visual “circle” dynamic that shows how views have moved from original 1st-degree contacts out to the 2nd and 3rd degrees, where people have noted the comments and been drawn in themselves. This gives evidence of the impact a post has beyond immediate followers, and helps users get a feel for what types of content have more universal appeal among LinkedIn users.
The second feature is called “You Recently Visited,” which acts like a reverse of “Who’s Viewed Your Updates.” It shows which profiles the user has recently visited, what searches the user has made and what discussions the user has recently participated in. While this does not give as much data on social impact, it does provide several shortcuts to finding old discussions and contacts that users may have wanted to pursue but were forced to put off until later.
These useful tools come on the heels of announcements that LinkedIn is being accepted on a global level, with a recent partnership with the Filipino network Tagalog and an announcement that Indian users now number more than 20 million. However, the latest changes also highlight the impact that the professional network is having on social media as a whole. In the end, LinkedIn is more focused on results than on the casual network: People log on to get something done. By keeping this core demand in mind, the organization has managed to produce user tools more directly linked with analytics than anything seen in social media today.
Now, with a little luck, brands will soon see such tools pop up on Facebook and Twitter, too. Similar data shortcuts could prove a boon to smaller companies who can log into their profiles and quickly see their 2nd- and 3rd-degree impact in the consumer world without resorting to expensive analytics reports. With such an attractive content package made of just a few interactive circles, the feature will look very attractive applied to more general networks where customer engagement could benefit.
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