In April, LinkedIn got some interesting data about the way people used its service. Out of everybody who uses LinkedIn to search for other people, 30% view at least one coworker’s profile every month.
It may sound odd for those who work at a small company, but if you’re at a big enterprise with hundreds of thousands of employees, it’s not always easy to learn about coworkers who you’ll be working with on a new project.
Or if you need to find someone in a certain division, like a technician, you often have to go through clunky intranet software to find their contact info.
According to a recent LinkedIn survey, only 38% of professionals use their companies’ intranets effectively, with 58% saying they’d do a much better job if they could find coworkers with specific skill sets easily.
Instead, 46% of the survey respondents said they used LinkedIn to look up coworkers, largely because of its ease-of-use and more up-to-date profile information.
In order so solve this problem, LinkedIn released a new app called “Lookup” on Wednesday. It’s a simple app that will help you quickly find coworkers and learn about their background. It also has features that allow you to email and text message from directly within the app.
The way it works is simple: download the free app and sign-in using your company email address. Once you’re in the app, you can search and view the profiles of anyone within your company who has a LinkedIn profile — even if you aren’t a LinkedIn user, or if they haven’t downloaded Lookup.
The app lists all the basic information you’d find on LinkedIn, in addition to their company email address and cell phone number, as long as the user elects to make them available. You can also search based on a variety of categories, including their name, title, division, or skills.
“The goal for this app is to find, learn about, and contact your coworkers. It’s the fastest and easiest way to do that,” LinkedIn’s senior product manager Ankit Gupta told Business Insider. “There’s a huge demand for learning about coworkers and that’s what we’re trying to solve here.”
For example, if you search for someone on LinkedIn’s main app, it usually first shows people that you’re connected with, making it difficult to filter through the people working at your company. The Lookup app only searches for people who work at your company, essentially making it a more up-to-date employee directory.
Gupta admits this is not a groundbreaking app with a whole lot of new features. But he stresses it’s an app that solves a problem that has long been passed over, which could potentially improve your work productivity.
“We’re not replacing the intranet, but this is something that hasn’t been tackled effectively yet,” Gupta said. “What we want to do is a very small but important thing — we want to help you find and learn about each other because we believe that will make you more productive.”
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