LinkedIn is Betting Big on Content by Introducing Trending Storylines

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LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) announced on Wednesday, on their official blog, the launch of Trending Storylines. This new LinkedIn feature is where “daily curated interest-based feeds about the most important developing stories in your industry” will cluster and be accessible to users by way of a “Trending” tab.

Ever since the big acquisition by Microsoft that made waves last year, LinkedIn has been continually working on improvements and newer ways to engage its 465 million users on its site. LinkedIn is now no longer merely a place to look for jobs or make quick network exchanges but is part of bigger advertising and audience play. On that note, its newest Trending Storylines feature comes in as an enhanced feature on the site which keeps its users more engaged, and also places more prominence on the power of content.

The feature, which will be launched in the U.S. first, will include multiple perspectives for users to quickly access, follow, or join conversations. It will be personalised for each user by a combination of algorithms and by LinkedIn’s own editorial team. Following the launch, LinkedIn Trending Storylines will initially focus on stories in technology, finance, and healthcare. More regions and topics will be added down the line.

LinkedIn’s new feature could be of great benefit to all its users, considering the personalised nature of this feature. Users will be able to connect to the stories that matter most to them professionally on a daily basis, and will also be able to join conversations that interest them. Further, the entire LinkedIn Feed user-experience, which has been redesigned in the recent past, provides the user more control. Now with LinkedIn Trending Storylines, users will also have a highly customised storyline awaiting them every day. In the course of time, users will also be able to follow topics or people they find within storylines. Consequently, users will be able to reflect all their professional interests on their LinkedIn Feeds.

LinkedIn is no doubt, keen on delivering the most relevant information, news, and content to users, in the most efficient way possible. While Facebook has been focusing on something similar, it is important to note that LinkedIn has a user base consisting of mostly professionals. In what LinkedIn is terming as a “hybrid human-machine approach“, LinkedIn is keenly trying to help its vast member-base consisting of a large group of professionals, publishers, and editorial voices come together for a discussion on one platform.

Even though the new LinkedIn StoryLines feature strongly resembles Twitter’s ‘Twitter Moments’, or Facebook’s ‘Activity Feed’, we could say LinkedIn is being innovative on how it uses the content posted on its network to drive even more traffic. Right now, content posted on LinkedIn’s network does bring in a significant amount of traffic. Further, sponsored content is a prominent part of LinkedIn’s advertising strategy. This new LinkedIn Storylines feature may be just the thing LinkedIn needs to not just bring in much more traffic, but to keep its users engaged in conversation, debate, and discussion, and generate larger revenues from sponsored content.

It may seem like LinkedIn faces no serious competition, and in some manner of speaking, that might be true. Ever since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has been a dedicated network connecting millions of highly skilled employees, and has been an essential tool for corporate as well as agency recruiters. There have been no other platforms who even came close to being a serious threat to LinkedIn’s market position. However, it is evident that Facebook has been trying hard to muscle its way in on LinkedIn’s recruiting business with its experimentation with recruiting features on its page.

The recruitment business aside, LinkedIn and Facebook do seem to be fighting each other in terms of their content strategies. Until 2015, most of LinkedIn’s revenues came from selling access to information about its users to recruiters and sales professionals. After the acquisition by Microsoft, however, LinkedIn began focusing more on making the user experience seamless across both mobile and desktop platforms. This included newer interfaces and more focus on content.

With the brand new Storylines feature up its sleeve, LinkedIn may be onto something promising. While competition is not something LinkedIn has to worry about too much at the moment, Better Safe Than Sorry, seems to be LinkedIn’s cautious approach.


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