In a move that puts it in competition with newer social networks and, potentially, cloud platforms, business-oriented LinkedIn is learning some new tricks about visual content sharing.
Unlike some of its competitors, such as Tumblr or Google+, LinkedIn has never really been a visual platform.
But that’s about to change. With LinkedIn’s move to emphasize the sharing of visuals, following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, the company has a new way to increase the stickiness that it’s become known for in recent months.
Why now? LinkedIn has traditionally been a second-mover on many social media trends, such as share buttons and news feeds—things that users of many other networks long took for granted. As a result, visuals hadn’t been a focus on the network. However, CNET’s Jennifer Van Grove suggests that the network is making the move “likely as a means of getting hip to the times and appealing to a younger generation of job seekers.” This fits with a trend BuzzFeed reporter Charlie Warzel noted: LinkedIn largely doesn’t appeal to people just joining the workforce.
Beyond photos: While photos will give LinkedIn a new dynamic, businesses also rely on other visual-based mediums, such as presentations and other types of documents. LinkedIn will now allow documents in status updates—a feature the company will roll out over the next few weeks. “Whether it’s a thought-provoking presentation about the future of big data or it’s a picture of an inspirational quote, or perhaps it’s an infographic showing the top trends impacting your industry,” the company’s Itamar Orgad writes, “the possibilities are endless for what you can share on LinkedIn to add a richer and more visual component to your professional discussions.” This fits with the company’s acquisition last year of SlideShare, which is slowly being integrated into offerings across the LinkedIn platform—like Orgad’s blog post, for instance. The move could also put LinkedIn in direct competition with Dropbox and other cloud services, ReadWrite’s Owen Thomas argues.
Boost your profile: LinkedIn’s move to improve status updates comes less than a month after it did something similar for user profiles, which function like living resumes. The service allows the presentation of content from numerous audio, video, photo, and document providers, such as SoundCloud, Scribd, Pinterest and Behance.
How could you see yourself adding a visual punch to your LinkedIn updates? Let us know your ideas in the comments.