If you’re a professional, the likelihood is that you’re on LinkedIn. With over 100 million users in the U.S. alone, and that number only representing about 30% of the total user pool, it is by far the most popular, some say essential, social media platform for serious workers. Despite its popularity, LinkedIn has suffered some PR issues with its behind-the-times approach to certain functions. Well, that changed a bit this month with the severe (and overdue) renovation of the message service.
Up until now, LinkedIn’s “messaging” has been no-frills to put it mildly. When it began, it made sense that messages were synonymous with emails. Hence LinkedIn’s layout of a pretty bland, and not especially user-friendly, email add-on. Attachments were impossible, the form was, well, too formal, and it became one more inbox filled with clutter and in need of sorting and organization.
The real change is that LinkedIn has finally gotten with the times and embraced the message-style layout. More and more people function on a daily basis with messages back and forth. Common sites like Facebook and iPhone messenger are now as natural to younger workers as swimming to a fish.
LinkedIn’s layout is now built around who you’re talking to rather than the message itself, giving you a list of conversations grouped by participants and allowing a bit more control over filters. It also makes communication over different devices easier.
On the note of ease, not enough can be said. The formality of conversation among professionals has been decreasing as we all become more and more used to being constantly connected. The idea is that one person can easily shoot a quick sentence to someone across the country as if they were in the same building. That is, after all, the driving idea behind social media.
In addition, users are now able to attach photos, documents, and other files to individuals or groups involved. The ability to scroll back on a single thread means you can catch up quickly and your “inbox” is organized for you.
As you can guess, millions are breathing a sigh of relief. It’s not just the frustration with the old way that has them pleased, though. It’s also the idea that LinkedIn’s messenger makes communication more natural. With small additions like being able to add GIFs and personal bits of flair, users will be able to communicate more personality than the stark system of old. What’s more, LinkedIn has even gone so far as to suggest that a new teleconferencing function will be available, too, making LinkedIn a valuable place that lives up to its name.