While it might not have grabbed as many headlines as its social media rivals in the last 12 months, LinkedIn hasn’t been sitting idle. The platform has been almost totally overhauled and if you’re logging in today after a short absence, you’ll likely be surprised by how much has changed. The user interface and dashboard is brand new. There are new insights for mobile and plenty of new tools to get your networking back on track.
If you’ve missed any of the developments at LinkedIn as they’ve happened, we’ve rounded up the most significant changes you’ll see next time you log in, and outlined how they’ll affect your LinkedIn experience (for the better) below.
New desktop features
LinkedIn has completely overhauled its technology architecture, resulting in what it calls the largest desktop redesign since LinkedIn’s inception. The site says one of its key aims was to provide a more streamlined, simplified and intuitive space.
Some of the new features include:
- Real time messaging, with insights delivered across the site directly from LinkedIn. These insights will “…help you break the ice in any conversation and connect you to your next opportunity. For example, if you see a new job posting you're interested in, we'll suggest someone within your network who works at the company.” The chat box itself looks a little like Facebook Messenger.
- Universal search means you can now search for anyone or anything from a single location, making it easier to find connections and opportunities.
- Better insights on your shared content shows who’s reading your updates, with information such as company, job title and geographic location available. This will make it easier to tailor your content but also, give you more insight as to your audience. Use it to build your network by sharing more of what your audience likes and is relevant to their company and job title.
- Changes to the desktop feed, curated by algorithms and human editors, will ensure content displayed is about topics that matter the most, from people that matter the most. This particular edit sounds much like the Facebook newsfeed update from last summer, and should mean that you see more content based on what you interact with and search on.
- A new ‘Me’ tab offers new ways to update your profile. It shows highlights, which are things you have in common with the person’s profile you’re viewing.
- There are suggested skills from LinkedIn, which it recommends be added to your profile and views of your shares, breaking down who has accessed your content.
- LinkedIn says that a profile meter will also be added to this section shortly, which will give tips on how to update a profile for maximum impact and connection opportunities.
So, how do all of these changes and the new look translate into what you can do and should expect from this second generation LinkedIn interface?
Unified mobile and desktop experience
As part of this redesign process, LinkedIn has unified both its desktop and mobile experiences. So, whether you log in from your smartphone or your office computer, you’ll see consistency across the design and navigation. What’s noticeable is that the new LinkedIn desktop looks and feels more like an app-based experience – something it says is no accident. With the snappier, cleaner architecture, your desktop should also load quicker, and it should be easier to move between different parts of the LinkedIn experience. Navigation is now split into seven core areas: Home (your feed), My Network, Jobs, Messaging, Notifications, Me, Search.
LinkedIn says its new design is linked to a better API, allowing for code updates three times a day. This means speedier innovation – possibly positioning the professional networking site to respond better to consumer shifts and roll out new products in the same way Instagram and Facebook continue to innovate and add value. If you aren’t already a keen LinkedIn user, this particular change could mean you’ll need to be more aware of what’s happening and make a habit of logging in more regularly, in order not to get left behind.
Easier access to valuable insights
The platform says the third notable point about the new LinkedIn desktop is that professional news and insights have been prioritized. When you log in, you should now find it much easier to discover news of relevance to you, learn about potentially interesting job openings and quickly join in conversations.
Have you tried the new look LinkedIn desktop? Will these changes make LinkedIn more important to your day-to-day social networking activity? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.