LinkedIn just announced a new product today called, uh, LinkedIn Today. It’s an online news site with the most-shared headlines on the professional networking service.
At first glance, this might not seem all that different from all the other news services pulling headlines from Facebook and Twitter. The difference, however, is that LinkedIn Today is connected to users’ professional identities, which means it can filter the headlines in a cool new way. For example, if you click on the “Internet” section, you’re not just seeing the most-shared Internet-related headlines — instead you see what’s being shared by people whose LinkedIn profiles show that they work in the Internet industry.
Product manager Liz Walker said this feature is particularly important to the growing number of workers whose jobs involve multiple industries. Trying to stay on top of the news in more than one sectors can be time-consuming, so LinkedIn Today gives you a quick, high-level view of what the professionals in each industry are talking about. Right now the news product includes 22 industries, but Walker said it could add more filters, for example job title (a section showing what CEOs are sharing) or location (a section for healthcare professionals in India).
Once users spot a story that interests them, they can also see who shared the story and start a conversation about the news with one of their contacts in LinkedIn. They can also access those headlines in an updated version of the LinkedIn iPhone app that goes live today.
LinkedIn Today seems like a logical extension of the company’s recent product strategy. LinkedIn launched its article-sharing button last November, and it has been adding other features to keep users coming back to the site.
When it filed for its initial public offering, LinkedIn noted that one of the risks to its business is the fact that “a substantial majority of our page views are generated by a minority of our members”, which in turn creates the possibility that “our members’ profiles are out-of-date, inaccurate or lack the information that users and customers want to see.” But if you’re coming back to LinkedIn every day to see the headlines, then you’re more likely to keep your profile up-to-date and engage with other users.
You can check out LinkedIn Today here. Walker said that over the next few weeks, the company will be adding more “entry points” to the service from the main LinkedIn site.
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition: Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.