LinkedIn is rolling out several improvements to its Groups service that enhance the social conversation utilities for its 70 million users. One of the more enjoyable new features in Groups is a content carousel. After sharing content, a user can click on the carousel to scroll through posts, RSS items and links shared by group members. Users can of course mark something as a like or comment on discussions similar to the way they would join conversations or contribute information on Facebook.
LinkedIn began rolling out several changes to its Groups
service June 22 that improve the social conversation quotient for the
professional social network.
Groups lets LinkedIn's 70 million users join a smaller network of contacts
within LinkedIn. Users can click the Groups tab at the top of the LinkedIn
homepage and click the Groups Directory option to join a group formed around an
industry or shared interest.
Users who don't see what they're looking for right away can search by
industry or career-oriented keyword to find a group and begin sharing
information with others in the field.
Once a user is accepted into the group, he or she can start conversations
and post links to content in the share box at the top of the group page. Users
can click on their own profile photos to see a log of their updates, as well as
changes in discussions they've begun, joined or are following.
Conversations now aggregate original comments and shared news articles
within the context of a specific thread on a topic. Moreover, the profile
photos of those participating in a discussion are on display to provide a more face-to-face-feeling
interaction between participants in a group thread.
LinkedIn users can now mouse over the images of the last three participants
in a thread to preview comments they've made, or click on their pictures to go
directly to their comment thread within the discussion Webpage. Users may also
comment in line, something that Google Buzz eventually offered after users
One of the more enjoyable new features in Groups is a content carousel. After
sharing content, a user can click on the carousel to scroll through posts, RSS
items and links shared by group members. Users can of course "like"
or comment on discussions similar to the way they could join conversations or contribute
information on Facebook.
Some users will want to see discussions in chronological order. They may
click the "See all new discussions" link on the homepage for this
view of group content.
Some users may also want to be alerted when users in a group like or comment
on something. LinkedIn users can follow specific users' updates by clicking the
"Start following" icon below each profile photo in any thread on the
Again, these features recall features in Facebook, which sends users e-mail
alerts when someone has liked or commented on a post of a user in their
All this is to say LinkedIn was clearly looking at the consumer social
network space for inspiration for these features. The socialization of the
Groups section comes after LinkedIn began letting users update Twitter from LinkedIn and vice versa in November 2009.
LinkedIn is also making big bets on the mobile space for professional social
networkers, rolling out applications such as LinkedIn for BlackBerry.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner told BusinessWeek the company expects to acquire
companies to fortify its mobile position against Facebook and newcomers, such
as Salesforce.com with its Chatter application.