Using LinkedIn on a desktop browser is a very different experience than using the professional social network's apps for iOS and Android.
On a web browser, LinkedIn looks and behaves much like a typical site, calling up a new web page practically each time a user clicks on a link. The mobile apps, on the other hand, provide fast, practically uninterrupted access to LinkedIn's sharing, messaging and profile-optimization features.
In the near future, the web-mobile divide at LinkedIn is set to disappear.
Over the next few weeks, LinkedIn is rolling out a new desktop site, the largest redesign in its history according to Jan. 19 blog post. As demonstrated in the accompanying YouTube video, users can expect to perform more actions with fewer page refreshes, similar to Facebook's approach to its desktop site.
LinkedIn's staffers wrote the new design is "built on a single-page application, which enables a snappy, cohesive, application-like experience. Unlike a traditional web application, you can expect smooth and seamless transitions as you engage with the site, since it doesn't require full page reloads."
For example, the updated site enables real-time chat with persistent messaging windows that pop up from the bottom of the browser windows screen update in real time. It also features a streamlined, uncluttered site design and simplified navigation elements, enabling users to focus on their content and find what they're looking for faster.
The mobile-inspired design extends beyond pixels and features. Under the hood, both the site and mobile apps share the same front-end APIs allowing LinkedIn to propagate its latest innovations across all platforms much faster than before.
LinkedIn's feed has been enhanced with new algorithms, plus some handiwork from human editors, to provide users with more relevant content. A universal search box provides search across various categories, including people, companies, jobs and groups. LinkedIn is also working on the ability to search posts.
The new site also promises to deliver better insight into how fellow members are engaging with one another's content. It will also provide better suggestions on how users can improve their profiles to catch the eye of job recruiters and industry peers.
The revamped desktop experience comes roughly a month and a half after Microsoft completed acquisition of LinkedIn. Closing the $26 billion deal took nearly six months after it was first announced and attracted the attention of European regulators. After making some concessions, the transaction was finally completed on Dec. 8.
Apart from a new website, LinkedIn will enjoy more visibility across the Microsoft ecosystem under its new parent company's new stewardship, according to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Upcoming integrations include adding the LinkedIn notifications to the Windows action center, enabling Outlook and Office to access LinkedIn identity and network data and an enterprise-grade LinkedIn Lookup feature powered by Office 365 and the company's popular user identity and access management platform, Active Directory.