LinkedIn Unveils New Followers Feature

linkedin new followers featureIn an effort to build the site’s content library, LinkedIn unveiled a new followers feature that lets users follow selected industry leaders who will post original content to LinkedIn.

“We know millions of conversations take place on LinkedIn everyday,” writes LinkedIn’s Ryan Roslansky. “Today, we’re providing another way for you to get even more value from LinkedIn by accessing the incredible insights and information directly from some of the most recognized and influential professionals on LinkedIn.”

To kick off the launch of the new feature, 150 of LinkedIn’s “most influential thought leaders” will share their expertise and ideas. Initial participants include celebrities like Richard Branson and Tony Robbins, SEO wizard Danny Sullivan, Altimeter’s Charlene Li, nonprofit genius Beth Kanter and healthcare’s Phil Baumann, just to name a few.

LinkedIn users can select the contributors they’d like to follow and can also comment on posts to spur additional discussion and engagement.

As LinkedIn continues to develop this new feature, Roslansky says LinkedIn users can expect to see more influencers to follow, including universally recognized names and industry-specific contributors.

I just spent a day at DemandCon 2012 working with B2B sales teams to leverage the power of LinkedIn and it’s no surprise that I’m a huge fan of the powerful business social networking site. And when you’re on the hunt for industry-specific content, this might prove to be a valuable resource for many of the site’s users. Kind of like the content AmEx’s OpenForum community of contributors generates.

For functionality’s sake, having an easily accessible content library seems like an easy way to not only stay up-to-date on relevant subject matter—but it also provides an ideal pool of content from which to generate status updates and group discussions. LinkedIn’s decision to expand on their content library by using recognizable names is, to our way of thinking, a good move—and one that will give the site even more credibility and visibility as a relevant, viable source of information. Unless, of course, it gets spammy. But we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here and watch and see.

Speaking of contributors—if you’re interested in throwing your hat in the ring as a LinkedIn influencer, apply here.

In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you think of this new “followers” feature. Good idea or no?

Image via LinkedIn Ninja

  • http://twitter.com/JenKaneCo Jennifer Kane

    I tend to find the content in my stream over at LI to be rather limited (especially compared to what I see on Twitter.) so i’m a fan of this idea. If i can read good stuff there, i’d be more apt to stop by. It is probably also the kick in the pants I need to post more original content over in LinkedIn myself. (I tend to put more of my attention on my company page than my own profile.) Basically, for me LI tends to be like flossing — the thing I know I should be doing more consistently, but always seems to get the shaft. :)

  • http://twitter.com/bridgegroupinc Trish Bertuzzi

    Not sure about this. Yet another data set clogging up my home page making it really difficult to track the activities of my prospects and customers. It may be time for LinkedIn to decide what they want to be when they grow up because they are starting to creep into the “be everything for everyone” category. Focusing on multiple objectives/audiences rarely makes for best of breed solutions. All interesting to watch though!!

  • ShellyKramer

    I’m not sure I think it’s the best thing either, Trish. And I also can see people clamoring all over one another trying to lobby to be “experts” and I’m not sure of the systems LI has in place or will have in place to vet that. Based on followers? Based on interaction on the site? Based on what, exactly …. it will be interesting, for sure, to see how it shakes out.
    On another front, I’m sorry I missed meeting you at DemandCon – I heard your session was fantastic! Another time, I hope.

  • ShellyKramer

    Great analogy, Jennifer. Like flossing. I don’t love LinkedIn, from a personal standpoint (I enjoy FB/Twitter/Instagram infinitely more). However, from a business standpoint, it’s a “must be, must interact” soc net for me. I think this will be interesting to watch. Not sure I think it’s fantastic yet (as Trish Bertuzzi points out in her comment here), but we shall see. That’s one thing about the space we collectively operate in – give something a little bit of time and it quickly becomes evident (1) what the masses think and (2) how they’ll use/view it.

    Thanks, m’dear, for coming by. I’m always a fan of your big brain.

  • http://twitter.com/JenKaneCo Jennifer Kane

    What a lovely thing to say. You are one class act, Ms. Kramer.

  • Paul Damsma

    I personally think Twitter and linked in should join forces to become the largest employment marketing and recruitment agency world wide! The difficulty will be in structuring, branding, and deciding which derives what incomes. I’m no internet guru, nor am i a data manager, but I see the value in such an endeavor.

  • ShellyKramer

    Hi Paul,

    LinkedIn is enormously profitable – and has been for a very long time. It’s also extremely valuable as part of the recruitment efforts for most companies nowadays. They have been very smart and very strategic in building out the network – for sure. It would be smart for other platforms to explore how they could integrate/add value/profit from collaboration. You’re spot on! Thanks for coming by.

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  • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

    As a content creator, I can see the benefits of becoming one of the contributors since so many of our consumers in the B2B space prefer and trust LinkedIn.

    As a content curator/consumer…argh! Another place to keep up with great content. Only so much reading I can do, folks. I already have to forego a lot of my LinkedIn group engagement because I like to engage on individual blogs directly. A lot of my content is already setup via RSS feeds and Triberr streams. Then there are all of the extra goodies thrown into my Facebook feed.

  • ShellyKramer

    I see value, too, Brian. It will be interesting to see how this transpires. Like you, I read/follow a lot, and it is always a challenge to keep up. Speaking of blogging, when is it we’ll get you to guest post on the V3 blog? We’d love to have you!

  • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

    Hmm, like how Kansas City offensive lineman Eric Winston recently “took to task” the fans for cheering when Matt Cassel got hurt. I’m sure there is a social media sports analogy lesson in there somewhere ;)

  • ShellyKramer

    I watched that on the news today. Interesting situation – and man, did he ever get people riled up. What do you think?? (ps and of course write about that if you like)

  • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

    They always talk about the inherent intelligence of offensive linemen, and how they are generally the “silent generals” on a football team. The Denver Broncos’ offensive linemen used to refuse all interviews.

    So when they speak, you listen. And I think this guy nailed it. We’ve seen it in other sports, also….like cheering double-faults in tennis. And you know some folks will strongly root against Sanchez tonight because they want to see Tebow on the field. I can even tolerate this last scenario a bit, but to cheer an injury or the failure of one player…versus the success of your favorite player/team…just shows a lack of sportsmanship.

    In my opinion…

  • ShellyKramer

    Actually, what was on the news and local talk radio stations today is that they weren’t booing him – and so the fact that the player excoriated all fans for their bad behavior was what was getting negative play. I’m sure there will be some replays on ESPN on this — check it out.

  • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

    Interesting, because I only saw the sound bite last night. I know that the ESPN announcers jumped on it and supported the lineman calling out what he perceived to be bad sportsmanship.

    I am sure he drew that conclusion based upon the “ass out of you and me” assumption that the fans were carrying through the booing they’ve been doing for Cassel for awhile now. A lot of that can be justified based upon his salary and performance, but cheering injury is never a good thing.

  • ShellyKramer

    Agreed. That, if ever it happens, sucks. Big time.

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