More Social Than Usual?
Given the relatively community-based origins of the site, it may seem strange to take issue with LinkedIn for becoming too social. It’s important to clarify that the concerns are not about the existence of interactions between others. Networking in person is an incredibly useful way to open doors for yourself and discover new opportunities that can help you in your career, and no one is arguing against the similar benefits obtained through networking online. Instead, it’s the quality of said interactions that is troubling.
As a user on LinkedIn, you have the ability to share articles and write posts in addition to simply updating your profile or communicating directly with your web of connections. Some users will stick to only sharing business and marketing-related content, including tips on new advertising platforms, articles on interview strategies, and other such items. Yet users are not policed in the content they share, and can certainly post about non-work related, such as celebrity gossip or personal drama.
Another criticism involves the group’s feature offered by LinkedIn. Users with similar interests can join groups together to exchange helpful experiences, questions, and advice. As individual interactions involving sharing articles and reacting to what others have posted increased, interactions within these groups have suffered. It doesn’t help that the company itself has shifted its priorities elsewhere, relocating groups to a less prominent location and disabling some of the more useful moderation and communication tools.
Is This Necessarily a Bad Thing?
The fact that LinkedIn looks different now than it did when it first launched is indisputable. But is this necessarily a bad thing for the platform? After all, despite the above complaints, LinkedIn remains incredibly popular, with over 700 million users on the site. Clearly, plenty of users still find it useful. In fact, of those who have voiced their observations regarding the changes made within LinkedIn, not all of them find those changes objectionable.
Some people believe that, given the importance of social media and pop culture in marketing these days, being in touch with what’s currently culturally relevant via the sharing of superficial content is actually a positive thing. The seemingly inane articles that have cropped up all over people’s feeds give them an inside perspective on the trending topics of today.
We live in a society that is incredibly connected in a way that our ancestors never were. One little video involving a can of kombucha goes viral. The next thing you know, you have people spread all across the globe laughing at the same young woman, a woman who has since become a very successful influencer, easily earning thousands of dollars per post. In many ways, social media is merely a reflection of our present society. If LinkedIn has changed, it’s perhaps indicative of greater changes in modern professionals, and remaining up to speed on the interests of those professionals can lead you to discover new opportunities or reach new audiences more effectively.