LinkedIn needs to get you excited again. Here’s how it’ll do it

2 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 things LinkedIn users need to know about the new mobile app.

LinkedIn, the professional social network that we love to hate, is hoping to entice you into using it more on your phone after it introduced revamped versions of its iOS and Android apps. LinkedIn unveiled a new design for its flagship mobile app for iOS and — which they named ‘Voyager.’ Now, the update is available globally, offering a pared-down experience that tries to be more relevant (and more sticky) than the previous version.

As most IT companies struggle (or not, depending on how big they are) to come up with new and more user-friendly technologies, it has become quite a trend to revitalize one’s products for the younger generations.LinkedIn has launched a new mobile app, and has released an article that highlights the five things the business social network’s users need to know about it. The new design — the preview of which we wrote about in October — is “more intuitive, smarter and dramatically simplifies your LinkedIn experience” so LinkedIn claims.

Codenamed “Project Voyager,” it offers a dramatically revamped experience, along with LinkedIn’s continuing focus on helping you with your professional journey. The redesign borrows heavily from Pulse Reader, in the respect that you will see posts from people in your extended network and articles that are popular among people with similar jobs. I reluctantly use LinkedIn for online networking, but I haven’t had the company’s app on my phone for some time — which probably makes me a good test case for this new version. The company is taking the next steps in better understanding the mobile generation and has built an app that does one thing really well: helps you stay informed about your connections. The app filters which updates you’ll see based on what you’re most likely to be interested in — and the company says the feature will get better over time as you use the app more.

Having a huge amount of users, with over 330 million members, an amount that grows every second, the sharp minds behind LinkedIn decided to go a bit more… commercial. Included among the new tabs is a private messaging feature meant to feel more like texting than the current messaging tool InMail, which is akin to email. Joff Redfern, vice president of product at LinkedIn, says the company redesigned the software to raise the app’s profile among the other LinkedIn apps, as well as to integrate an app launcher feature that makes it easier to open those other apps, including LinkedIn Pulse, LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn SlideShare. The new flagship app embodies LinkedIn’s multi-app strategy, featuring a seamless ability to launch into LinkedIn apps for dedicated and deeper experiences, like Pulse, Groups, Job Search and more.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet, with more than 259 million members worldwide, including executives from Fortune 500 companies. The company claimed recently that it has cut down on the volume of emails that it sends out to users, and, in that spirit, it has revamped the main feed inside its mobile app. Onstage at the company’s 2015 Talent Connect conference, chief executive Jeff Weiner described Project Voyager as the “dashboard for your professional life,” and — looking at the finished product — he’s not far off.

Not only is it more aesthetically pleasing, but you’re able to opt out of seeing certain kinds of content — because, let’s face it, who wants to see everything that the at-times tenuous contacts you have there post. A little long in the making, but we got there.” Over the past few months, LinkedIn has been releasing several standalone apps — each geared toward specific things.

Whereas the previous version seemed to be a hodgepodge of different components strewn together as company made acquisitions or incorporated new services and advertisements, here, everything is in an intentional place. To make thinks even easier, LinkedIn introduced a “Me” tab that allows you to browse through and edit your profile or see who has been following you. The new app employs a News Feed very similar to that of Facebook, giving the users the ability to like what they are interested in, and then receive updates on their feed. As you go through the onboarding process with the app, you’ll be prompted to select specific topics, subjects, and influencers you want to know more about. Focusing on your so-called professional brand, Me is where you can see all of your stats, letting you see who’s viewed your profile and who’s commenting on or sharing your posts.

Although LinkedIn could be a reliable source of information when you are looking to check out a person’s professional background, the actual social media part with its chat is not as used as let’s say, the Facebook chat. You won’t find things like a connection’s work anniversary, what group someone has joined, new skills they’ve added, or whether someone has a birthday. It’s actually about news you care about, whether you’re into photography, app development, venture capital, artificial intelligence, or whatever else. Sync your calendar and it will prep you for the next meeting with the profile of the person you’re meeting, shared connections and shared interests. Also notable is the inclusion of content provided through LinkedIn’s influencer program and curated via Pulse — it doesn’t feel forced, as it did with the old version.

The new Messages tab signifies LinkedIn’s move away from its old email-like InMail functionality and into a new communication tool whose quick and easy conversations more closely resemble those held in today’s popular messaging apps — while still keeping the focus on your professional contacts. It’s neat but, once again, my ‘network’ is so noisy and it remains hard to separate the wheat from chaff and see the updates I want/need without needing to cycle through all of them. I’d love to see LinkedIn apply some big data magic to attempt to prioritize my contacts here, or at least let me train it about the kind of data that is valuable to me. If you’re already sold, the cards feature is nifty in so much that it makes it easy to congratulate a contact on a new job by making it more visible.

In a search for “VentureBeat,” the app displayed not only the company page, but groups that were similar (the VentureBeat company page was first because LinkedIn knew my profile lists VentureBeat). The release of this updated app is thanks to Weiner’s dual responsibility as CEO and head of product, a role he inherited following the departure of Deep Nishar in 2014. To put things into perspective, the current iteration of LinkedIn’s mobile app was launched more than four years ago, thanks to the work of eight engineers. Since Weiner’s tenure as product lead began, the company has been rolling out a multi-app strategy to optimize the app and show users the real value that it can provide them. Redfern said that Weiner has brought forth a “renewed focus on the member.” “We started to unpack [LinkedIn’s] product portfolio and look through it from the lens of the member’s value proposition,” he said. “We got a crisp insight into what the flagship app should do for the member.” The recent changes in the app were informed by the use of research data.

Redfin explained that, because 70 percent of LinkedIn’s members are international and don’t use email the way those in the U.S. do, a new messaging format and user interface was needed. In this scenario, the “sun” is the company’s flagship app, around which everything revolves, and which represents the center of your professional universe.

From there, you have different “planets” orbiting, including the likes of Elevate, Lookup, Groups, services for recruiters, salespeople, and much more. The goal of this revamped LinkedIn app is to educate you on all the things you’re interested in, while also providing you useful insights in advance of any meetings or connections you’re going to make.

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