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LinkedIn continues to add new things (and change existing things) at a rapid pace, usually without any warning or explanation. Fortunately for you, yours truly is always on the lookout and ready to report when new elements appear or if something changes. Here’s a list of the new stuff I’ll be covering in this article:

  1. New ‘FEATURED’ Section
  2. UNLIMITED Group Messages
  3. SUGGESTED Comments
  4. POLLS
  7. New ‘SUPPORT’ reaction

New ‘FEATURED’ Section
LinkedIn have experimented with the Featured section over the years, giving this section different sizing and formats. This year they’ve gone big. Biggest size yet in fact and I’m pleased because the Featured section is a great place to showcase your most impressive stuff, it breaks up the monotony of an all-text profile page and has a few bells and whistles – for the first time users can now add LinkedIn short-form content (posts) to the Featured section and LinkedIn have figured out a way to whisk readers straight to any external content you add to this section. The old Featured section (referred to as Rich Media) always forced users to click and click again to see external content.

UNLIMITED Group Messages
Back in the day if you wanted to send as many messages as you wanted to fellow LinkedIn users you would simply join a large group and utilize the ability to message any fellow group member for free (without paying for InMails). Well LinkedIn got wise to that exploit and imposed a group messaging limit (15 per month). It seems that LinkedIn have done away with this limit. We don’t ask why, we just use wisely.

Perhaps inevitable, ever since we saw these potential response options in our message inbox and I’ll admit that I sometimes use those (because they save time and they’re getting pretty close to what I’d actually write). But for comments on posts? I personally can’t see a use case for me. I love responding to posts/comments, so little speech bubbles aren’t going to cut it for me. But for those folks who typically do the quick drive bys (“Awesome!”, “Love it!”, “You rock!”), this will be “Perfect!”.

LinkedIn has brought Polls back. They vanished years ago (2011- 2014) and were a fabulous value-add in groups. This is what they used to look like:

They’re available for individual users and group admins. You are be able to create polls on the app and desktop. Questions are limited to 140 characters in the Poll body, 4 voting options or less (limited to 30 characters for each vote text). Duration of poll can be set to 1 or 3 days, 1 or 2 weeks. The completed polls can be searched. Just like a post, poll authors will be able to select the visibility (who gets to see it). I’ll write an article focusing on Polls – I was lucky enough to get access early and really went to town with them! Lots of insights to come as a result of my extensive testing 🙂

LinkedIn is following Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook by introducing the 24-hour stories format. Launched in Brazil first, then the Netherlands, the UAE and most recently Australia, this feature will allow co page admins and individual users to share content via images and video up to 20 secs in length. Just like Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp, the media will only be available for 24hrs. Why was Brazil first? Because it’s the 3rd largest producer of vid content on LinkedIn (apparently) and because Brazilians have a worldwide reputation for creativity, according to LinkedIn. You can view, add stickers/text to the media and you can message the producer if you are a 1st or 2nd degree. Currently restricted to the mobile app (ios & android). No word yet of Stories in the US, it’s a slow roll-out, for sure.

This feature will be welcomed by many people who regularly suffer from having their name butchered. People very rarely get my last name wrong, most understand that the ‘E’ is silent. This is a mobile-only feature, probably because LinkedIn figure that it’s easier to use the mic on a smartphone than a desktop.

Press the blue mic icon, say your name by speaking slowly and clearly into your phone mic. Release. Don’t change the default (All LinkedIn members).

Tap on the play icon to review your recording. If you’re happy with it, click ‘Apply’.

You’ll see a new section appear in your intro area.

Many users have realized that 10 seconds is enough time to squeeze in a pitch or something related to their brand. I’ve taken a different route….(take a listen)

New ‘SUPPORT’ reaction
People who follow me will know how I feel about the ‘Curious’ reaction (I’m not a fan, I think its ambiguous/pointless). LinkedIn have recently decided we need a ‘Support’ reaction. Given what’s going on in the World, I guess people may use this 6th reaction. I wrote a post (with a Poll) a few days ago on LinkedIn asking people to vote on the ‘new feature’ they’d want to see most. The 4th suggestion (vote) was customized reactions. I’d love to see an option which would allow LinkedIn users to quickly create a custom reaction they can use to respond in a highly personalized way, like modular emojis…or something like that.

A few other changes I want to draw your attention to: LinkedIn really want you to get your brand on; your About section (previously called Summary) has been increased from 2,000 to 2,600 characters. Your headline has been increased from 120 characters to 220. So, how are you going to use all of that extra space? Contact me if you want/need my professional assistance.

One last thing. A reason I have not been writing here as often as usual is that I’ve been pouring a lot of my time and energy into my brand new podcast, it’s called FOOTE-NOTES and I recently published my 18th episode. If you’re interested in LinkedIn discussion and people-curious, you’ll love the show. I’d greatly appreciate it if you listen, subscribe and rate it on iTunes.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading. Stay safe, healthy and curious my friends.
Andy x