Have you been on LinkedIn recently? You may have noticed that there’s been a bit of change on the platform. New developments in the past six months or so have resulted in the site looking very different from its 2003 self.
There are more than 500 million accounts on the site, leaving LinkedIn with the challenge of delivering value to a varied groups of users. Coupled with encouraging users to use the platform (and use it to its full potential and use it often) that’s a big task.
In their own words, the “complete overhaul of our technology architecture is the largest desktop redesign since LinkedIn’s inception…”
The goal of the new LinkedIn desktop layout is to create a simpler LinkedIn experience that is faster and more intuitive (and brings it firmly into the 21st century). The redesign brings together the mobile and desktop versions, towards one consistent look and feel. The simplified design and streamlined navigation provides a consistent user experience across mobile and desktop/laptop.
Who doesn’t love intuitive design and seamless experiences across devices?
LinkedIn announced a changing desktop experience last year and many folks feel that the implementation of the changes in 2017 has been less than smooth. There has been a lot of uproar from users who were accustomed to the aesthetic and functionality of the old LinkedIn. Certain people panicked when features were removed or replaced. But the majority of LinkedIn users probably won’t notice the absence of any features.
There does seem to be a move towards pushing key tools for the premium account members, meaning users will have to dig a little deeper to find all the function of the old site. For example, in a world of only sunshine and unicorns, Sales Navigator would be available for everyone. Alas, that’s not the case. Sales Navigator is a paid feature that has filtering and targeting tools that the casual user can only dream of. *Sigh*
What has changed?
Your homepage is basically the same format. There is a custom newsfeed, reminiscent of Facebook, with the news and updates shared by your connections or companies and people you follow. The order is now determined by an algorithm that shows “Top Update.” Hopefully the option to display news chronologically is returning… You’ll also notice a block of curated news, titled “Trending Storylines.”
On the left of the screen, there is now a little floating block that gives you access to your personal profile and to a list of people who have viewed your profile page. If you don’t see it, check your settings. You may have chosen to be anonymous when visiting other’s profiles. You’ll also see a summary of the views on articles you’ve shared.
My Network is where invitations and a list of your connections live. The Jobs and Messaging areas will be familiar, they’ve just got a new spiffy look. And! Emojis have been removed from the messaging. (A good move; please don’t use emojis in a business context.) One fun new addition is the messaging box, which you’ll see at the bottom right of your screen. You can now view and write messages without leaving the page.
Andddd, they’ve done away with the ‘advanced search’ option. The new Search is not very easy to use. Type something into that section and it searches the entire site. Looking for people in a specific location or company? The result will likely be buried under a long list of other information. However, after you press ‘enter’ there are lovely filter options on the right. Keywords will be your best friend here for targeted searches!
Your Personal Profile page, the virtual business card, got a fresh new look.
Your photo should reflect your professional side and the banner should be indicative of your brand and offerings. Use the Headline section to craft a powerful statement that communicates your value. LinkedIn is only showing the first two lines of your summary now, so put a strong call-to-action in those first few sentences. If you’re not already doing so, take advantage of the capability to add in documents, links, images, and videos into the main information areas. Showcase your skills and collateral every chance you get.
The Company Feed has been redesigned as well.
A dedicated Updates tab was added, for better management and sharing of updates. The News Feed enables you to quickly view engagement metrics for individual and aggregated posts (sorry, they’re called Articles now). (You’ll see engagement stats for the past week on the left side of the screen, with a link to more analytics. And every post has easily accessible stats, too.) Another thing of note – members will keep seeing the company updates on the company page but in admin view, the company feed has its own page.
Company profiles look a bit different and will take some time to get used to but functionality-wise, not much is changing. Be sure to add in a new banner image that reflects your company’s brand!
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All in all, there have been a few major changes to LinkedIn’s look and layout – in a few places. In other places, not much has changed. Don’t worry, there is still a whole lot of value for free users.
Change is good, people, don’t forget that! I predict it won’t take long to adapt to the new LinkedIn layout.