Business social network LinkedIn is beginning to look a lot more like Twitter. Today it announced a new Company Follow feature that will allow users to keep track of real-time updates from companies they’re interested in.
Specifically, the feature will let users track job openings, and other business developments for all the companies on the site — which currently number near one million. Updates will appear in user’s activity and news stream. There’s the potential for other insights from the data as well. For example, you could more easily see an increased rate of hiring at a competitor, writes LinkedIn’s Director of Product Management Ryan Roslansky.
Users can follow companies via the “follow” button on company pages and through any LinkedIn member’s profile, which list companies users are currently (or previously) affiliated with. You can view all of the companies you’re connected to, as well as receive recommendations, at the Company Profiles homepage. You can also tweak the type, frequency, and format of updates you receive on a per-company basis.
The feature is an organic fit for LinkedIn, since it strengthens its business-oriented focus and will be useful for both heavy and casual users of the site. If someone is simply looking for a job opening in the company of their dreams, they only need to follow that one company like a hawk. A serious LinkedIn user who relies on the site for their profession can keep a better eye on competitors and track industry trends more easily.
It’s yet another step towards increasing the social features of the site. Last November, the site introduced the ability to synchronize status updates with Twitter, instead of keeping them locked into its own network.