The initiative kickstarted back in 2012, when LinkedIn invited established entrepreneurs and public figures such as Richard Branson and President Obama to pen articles through its Influencers program. However, last year it was opened up to any LinkedIn member in the U.S., effectively letting anyone share their thoughts and experiences with other members, irrespective of their standing in the business realm.
One million posts on, LinkedIn is now opening things up to all English-speaking countries, which equates to around 230 million members.
Posts differ from status updates, since they take the form of a proper article, such as this How to Sell Anything post, encouraging shares, comments, and even following the author in question.
To write a post, you just click the little pencil icon in your status update box, and you’ll be taken to a WordPress-style editor.
LinkedIn as a publishing platform
Founded in 2003 as a social network for business professionals, LinkedIn has come a long way in the past decade or so. Indeed, you may well have missed the platform’s steady shift towards a content platform, but it has been making sure-footed moves towards the publishing realm in recent years.
Back in 2011, LinkedIn launched a Flipboard-esque news aggregator of sorts called LinkedIn Today, letting users search for articles based on topics relevant to them.
But you can perhaps look even further back in LinkedIn’s history to “Groups” as its first real flirtation with user-generated content, with millions of people creating and joining niche collaboratives based on any topic, such as “B2B Marketing” or “SEO for Beginners.” It’s all about sharing knowledge and best practices.
More recently, LinkedIn snapped up the Flipboard-style news aggregation service Pulse for $90 million. Now called LinkedIn Pulse, the service basically takes what people are writing and filters it out into individual channels, making it easier to follow key people or topics.
With many other channels available on the Web for networking, LinkedIn has been careful not to become stagnant and follow the likes of Bebo down the path of social networking irrelevance. By opening up its platform to more user-generated content, it’s looking to help drive engagement and encourage people to spend more time with the service. More eyeballs means more advertising dollars, after all.
LinkedIn says it will open publishing to all members and languages in the “coming months.”