Making this more than just speculation, he recently received an email from a [email protected] address containing the most shared news in his network, a feature that hasn’t been announced or publicized yet.
(Update: The service, called LinkedIn Today, is officially launched.)
If LinkedIn rolls out this feature widely that would be smart. LinkedIn’s main problem is that, as it says itself in its S-1 filing, the vast majority of LinkedIn members don’t actually use it. To be blunt: it’s just not useful for the majority of users. It’s only a minority of people like recruiters and salespeople who use the site. That’s the reason why your writer went through customer service hell to leave the site.
It would also be a good place to sell more advertising, which is the worst-performing of LinkedIn’s business units.
So becoming a smart aggregator of business news could make it more useful for more people. The question is all about the execution — can they pull it off? The right personalised news aggregator has been a holy grail of the web for many, many years now and most startups who have tried to pull it off have failed.
The closest thing to a successful personalised news aggregator is Twitter. And it’s hard to see how LinkedIn could add value beyond that: if we want to read the best news shared by our network, well, that just sounds like the definintion of Twitter, which also has many other great things going for it on top of that.
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