Changes to LinkedIn platform explained

The way you publish an article or share a status update has changed.
Here is an example
The way you publish an article or share a status update has changed. Here is an example

A number of people of people have asked me to explain the new changes that LinkedIn have made to their platform, heralded as the new and improved update to this hugely important B2B tool.

New it is……improved, I’m not so sure! LinkedIn has made the desktop version very similar to the app, and it looks very funky, but the functionality for the free service has been reduced.

Have you seen the new profile yet?

There are lots of little changes and quite a few very big changes in the new profile for the desktop. The new design certainly has a modern feel to it, with the trendy new icons and slight change of colour. However, I am not overly impressed with the changes. The whole change is geared to making money. Even the simple little changes are there to promote LinkedIn's paid features.

1 – The profile has moved

We now have the profile on the left-hand side, which incorporates a new round profile picture (which you will need to change). But right below your picture, name and professional headline are the words “XX who’s viewed your profile” (oh dear, the grammar!)– of course, you are limited to how many people you can view without upgrading your account.

2 – The way you publish an article or share a status update has changed.

This is the old style way of adding a status update or writing an article - See the attached graphic

This is the new version - See the attached graphic

3 – Contact Details have moved.

They are now presented on the right-hand sidebar. I was disappointed to see that you no longer have nice neat labels for your websites. Hopefully, they will change that in a future update.

4 – You can no longer change the order

I liked the way in which you were able to personalise the look of your LinkedIn profile by moving segments around. For example, I prefer my recommendations to be higher than my endorsements as I feel that they offer more credibility for my work. Unfortunately, with the new update, you can now no longer move these around.

5 – Advanced search is no more.

The new search is meant to be easier, but it does take some getting used to. Simply start a search for a person, company, group, job or school in the top search bar. You can then filter by these categories on the top menu bar. You also have additional filters on the right-hand side (which is similar to the advanced search features of the old profile). The top posts are always the jobs that relate to search, which I find frustrating. Unfortunately, you can no longer filter by postcode, companies, industries, language and schools, unless you pay for a premium package. And you can no longer save a search unless you have upgraded to the premium package.

6 – My Network now has limitations

If you click on the “My Network” area you are now very limited. The “connections / your day” has been moved to notifications, and you are also limited on what actions you can do here. Previously when you clicked on “my connections” there were numerous options, but now all you can do is message someone or remove them. Biggest disappointment is not being able to “tag” (categorise) connections.

I do like the clean look when you click on “my network”. The “People you may know” is displayed much more cleanly, as is the option to accept invitations.

7 – Export your connections has moved

I did panic as I could not find this option immediately, but don't worry, it is still there. To export your connections:-

> Click “My network”

> On the left you will see Your Connections, click “see all”

> In grey writing on the right-hand side click “manage imported contacts” (confusing as you are exporting, not importing)

> Then click “export connections” on the right

8 – Create a Company Page has been moved to a strange place

If you were wondering how to create a company page, go to the “More” tab at the top. (The more tab has replaced Interests). You will see options here to explore other areas of LinkedIn such as their products. To add a company page you need to click “see more”. In my opinion, it looks as if they didn't really know where to add this button, so they thought “let's stick it here and see if people can find it!”

9 – Notifications are now all clumped together

No longer can you find work anniversaries, birthdays, etc. in one place. They are now all clumped together in one long newsfeed with everything else. I was hugely disappointed as my team use this feature as part of their daily strategy. I liked the previous display as it was very visual. You spot a face before reading the text. I feel that this is a bad move from LinkedIn. If you have a large network then your notifications will be huge!

10 – The biggest disappointment of all – the mini CRM has gone from the free platform.

If you are a small business owner, and you have not invested in a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) system, then LinkedIn offered the perfect solution with their “relationship area”. If you have been using this system as your main database then you now need to upgrade to the premium package in able to access your notes and reminders! Crazy! I assume (maybe wrongly) that the majority of business owners using this feature would be the smaller businesses that cannot afford a CRM – so why would LinkedIn expect the same people to invest in £72 a month? It is another reason to not build your property on rented land – you never know when they will pull the plug or introduce a high penalty price for using their software.

Conclusion:

I like the design of the site, it seems easier to use and it is easy on the eye. The functionality certainly has a “Microsoft” influence and I completely understand why. It's all about revenue now and I feel that this is where LinkedIn is heading. The good times are over. Bottom line, if you want to access the biggest database for searching for business professionals then you need to put your hand in your pocket.