It’s a perfect storm for LinkedIn.
New CEO Ryan Roslansky has been steering the ship for over six months now, bringing with him a background in product design. Plus, conversation on the platform is up 50 percent year-on-year, and LinkedIn wants to maintain growth and keep leading voices active.
As a result, we are seeing a wave of new features, modes, and functionalities.
So, grab yourself a cup of coffee. We’ve got quite a bit to go through…
One of the more significant updates is Creator Mode, which allows any user, organisation, or company that regularly shares content on LinkedIn to showcase their expertise in new ways.
After switching your profile to Creator Mode, LinkedIn will help you grow your audience in several ways:
- LinkedIn will encourage users to follow you. Your follower count will also be displayed in your profile’s intro.
- Your content will be shown ‘more prominently’ in the Activity section. This section includes posts only – not all of your activity.
- Your Featured and Activities sections will move to the top of your profile.
- You can add up to five topics you post about in your profile’s intro as hashtags.
- Your ‘Connect’ button will change to ‘Follow,’ the benefits of which I’ve spoken about HERE.
Creator Mode isn’t permanent and will automatically switch off if you turn your Followers setting from ‘Everyone on LinkedIn’ to ‘Your connections’ or remove ‘Follow’ as the primary action on your profile.
And in case you are still unsure of the differences between following and connecting, here’s a quick breakdown:
- In LinkedIn’s ideal world, connections are users that found you on LinkedIn because they ‘know and trust’ you. Connections are a two-way street, and when you connect with someone, you’ll see their updates in your LinkedIn feed, and they’ll see your updates in theirs. You can also direct message your connections.
- Following is not a two-way street. If someone follows you, they’ll see your updates, but unless you follow back, you won’t see theirs. It’s a way for people to see others’ posts on their LinkedIn homepage without connecting and is generally geared toward those posting content that pulls attention to their profile.
Creator Mode represents a massive shift for LinkedIn, with focus landing firmly on the content you post and the audience you’d like to build.
Discoverable Service Pages
Entrepreneurs and freelancers, you’ll soon be able to showcase your offerings direct from your personal profile with brand-new Service Pages.
These pages are discoverable, and any LinkedIn member – regardless of the degree of connection – can find your Service Pages via search and contact you. LinkedIn has promised to add reviews to Service Pages in future updates, too.
Looks to me like another reason to focus on your personal profile – not a company page. (To find out more about company pages versus personal profiles and my duel with company page enthusiast Michelle J Raymond check out my detailed article HERE and/or watch the YouTube video HERE.)
Video Cover Story
LinkedIn is introducing what they’re calling a Cover Story, which is a 30-second video represented by an orange ring around your profile picture. A sound-off preview will play automatically within your photo frame – think of it like those moving photos in Harry Potter.
The idea is to introduce yourself, your skills or services, the type of content you share, and whether or not you’re looking for work in a way that’s a little more human and personal.
I don’t use LinkedIn Live. But, for those that do, when you start your live broadcast, the video will stream on your profile background. This will make it easier for those that have seen a notification to access the live broadcast and should increase viewer numbers.
To apply for LinkedIn Live access the form here.
Soon, you’ll be able to add your gender pronouns to the top of your profile. The feature is optional, but according to LinkedIn’s research, 70 percent of job seekers believe that it’s essential for hiring managers to know and respect their pronouns, and 72 percent of hiring managers agree.
New job titles
LinkedIn has added a bunch of new job titles to the platform, including ‘stay-at-home mom,’ ‘stay-at-home dad,’ and ‘stay-at-home parent.’ ‘Caretaker,’ ‘mom,’ and ‘dad’ are now options, too.
(Yep. LinkedIn spells ‘mum’ with an ‘o’ – even for us Aussie users.)
These updates came after writer and educator Heather Bolen published an article in March this year. Looking to re-enter the workforce after staying home with her kids, Bolen struggled to find a LinkedIn job title that adequately captured her situation. There wasn’t one, so she called LinkedIn to action.
“LinkedIn must scrub the patriarchal lens through which the platform views the world and link us all in. It’s time to end the stigma of unpaid leave,” she wrote.
It worked. Bef Ayenew, director of engineering at LinkedIn, responded to Bolen’s feedback in a Fortune article.
“I wholeheartedly agree that we need to normalise employment gaps on the profile to help reframe hiring conversations,” he said.
Flexibility and visibility are positives, but, as an aside, the ‘stay-at-home mom’ title really hit a nerve. I’m angry at LinkedIn’s hypocrisy in rolling out gender pronouns at the same time as enabling stay-at-home-mom. Personally, I’ve battled with pressure from my husband, other family members, and even my friends to stay at home rather than work. Even now, people ask me about the children and hubby about his work.
Parenthood and the associated doubling of housework are often thrust on women as primarily their responsibility – a responsibility that is not always equally distributed. In an unfair equation with unfair labels of Dad and Mom, both men and women lose (and non-binary are excluded) as women work twice as hard, and men miss out on playing a shared role in child-raising. Think about what happened during the pandemic – a disproportionate surge of mothers returned to the home to care for their children. In cases where both mothers and fathers couldn’t work from home,mothers were seven times more likely to take responsibility for childcare and remote learning.
We need to scrub out Mom and Dad and use only ‘Parent’, or ‘Carer’.
Anyway, I digress.
In addition to new job titles, LinkedIn will also roll out a new feature that allows members to create distinct resume sections for employment gaps. Each section can be labelled using one of ten different types of leave – ‘family care,’ ‘parental,’ and ‘sabbatical,’ as examples.
Which new features do you plan to use?
Are you going to switch to Creator Mode? What about a Cover Story? Will you be including your preferred pronouns in your profile? Let me know which new feature you are most excited about.
Let me know too if you think I’m over-reacting to the new Stay-at-home-mom. I’m not a fan of echo chambers and enjoy a robust debate!