Popular business networking site LinkedIn launched some major changes to user’s homepages this week, adding more social features and opening the site to outside developers. This shift is drawing comparisons to the steps LinkedIn’s major competition, Facebook, unveiled earlier this year.
Facebook has been creeping up on LinkedIn as the best site to turn to for business networking, and some may view LinkedIn’s latest improvements as an effort to distinguish itself as the leader in online business networking.
Some of the major changes include:
- A newsfeed with updates on the activity of users’ contacts
- Updates about a user’s employer, with links to news articles and other resources
- An opt-in social networking element from outside partner Business Week that allows users to share news stories from the Business Week homepage with their contacts
According to web strategy blogger Jeremiah Owyang, it is this last element that will be the key to LinkedIn’s future success, and is the most important factor in the site’s revamp. Owyang, drawing further comparisons to Facebook, claims that “there’s an opportunity for LinkedIn to become a perma-tab in our web experience, take for example the partnership with Businessweek, much like a nod to the social ads that Facebook has deployed (but this time
opt-in only) users of LinkedIn that are visiting Businessweek can choose to share a story with their network on LinkedIn. A sort of ‘delicious for your network’.”
Below is video taken from the LinkedIn blog entry announcing the site redesign, in which Adam Nash, senior director of product for LinkedIn, explains the new features.