Technology

Now LinkedIn Wants to Make Everyone an Influencer

The company's popular publishing platform, until now exclusive, soon will be open to everyone—a move that could help business pros give their big ideas a little extra reach.

Listen up, thought leaders: LinkedIn wants to make your job easier.

Since 2012, the company’s LinkedIn Influencers publishing platform has given a small number of influential voices the ability to push their content to millions of LinkedIn users worldwide. The network of writers had been limited to already-famous voices like Martha Stewart and Richard Branson. But soon, it’ll include everyone.

Even with the small pool of influencers, the publishing platform has had success thus far—with the average post receiving more than 31,000 views, 250 likes, and 80 comments.

This week, LinkedIn announced its plan to build on this early success. The company will now offer the publishing platform for members—allowing them not only to share thoughts but to spread them to the network’s more than 277 million members. Starting with 25,000 users, the company will eventually expand the platform to everyone over the next few months.

While it plans to continue the more exclusive Influencers setup (it recently added CNBC’s Suze Orman to the mix), the company hopes that the additional scale will give lower-profile professionals a bit of a runway.

“The valuable Influencer posts and the wide range of professional content from millions of publishers that we currently aggregate on LinkedIn are powerful, but only the tip of the iceberg,” writes Product Management Director Ryan Roslansky. “Combined, our members have extremely valuable and varied experiences; however, their knowledge and expertise has not yet been captured and shared.”

A Growing Model

LinkedIn’s plan pushes a little into the territory of another service that leverages smart insights to build wide reach—Medium.

That platform, backed by a number of Twitter founders, offers a similar service for writers based on exclusivity and the idea of raising individual voices through a network effect. Early results have been strong, with articles on the service commonly going viral. Last month, Medium announced that it had raised a $25 million venture capital round—the company’s first outside investment.

Another competitor to watch in this space, the formerly exclusive Svbtle, recently opened its doors to the public.

Even with the small pool of influencers, the publishing platform has had success thus far—with the average post receiving more than 31,000 views, 250 likes, and 80 comments.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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