LinkedIn is rolling out an update to its desktop publishing tools today, as the soon-to-be Microsoft-owned company seeks to make its platform stickier for writers and readers.

The most immediately striking facet of the update is the interface, which sports a cleaner design, with the editing pane now stretching the full width of the screen.

LinkedIn Publishing

Above: LinkedIn Publishing

But beyond aesthetics, LinkedIn has also made it easier to add, edit, and resize multimedia objects, in terms of how they’re aligned alongside the text.

Additionally, LinkedIn has tweaked the reading experience to make it more engaging by enabling full-bleed cover photos and removing distracting “noise” from the page.

Though LinkedIn is better known as the social network for professionals, it has been making big moves in the publishing realm for quite some time. While LinkedIn Groups has enabled user-generated content for years, back in 2011, LinkedIn Today launched to allow users to search for topic-specific articles across the news realm.

Shortly after, LinkedIn launched its Influencer program, which lets anyone subscribe to “thought leaders,” such as Richard Branson. This was initially only available to invited individuals, but LinkedIn opened its publishing platform to everyone globally last year. Then there’s Pulse, LinkedIn’s mobile-focused news digest, which received a major overhaul last year.

A few months back, Microsoft announced plans to acquire LinkedIn for an eye-popping $26 billion, and while that deal is still going through countless approval hurdles, it seems LinkedIn is continuing to iterate and improve its products.

Other updates rolling out for LinkedIn’s publishing platform include the ability to add hashtags to an article before it’s published, which should help business professionals find content relevant to their line of work.

For now, the refresh is only available in the U.S., but the company assures its international users that the feature will be launched further afield “soon.”

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