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How LinkedIn became the next best option for media professionals, after Twitter | What’s New in Publishing

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How LinkedIn became the next best option for media professionals, after Twitter | What’s New in Publishing

Microsoft-owned social platform for “managing your professional identity” has been growing in popularity for some time, and now it’s enjoying its special place

A year ago, when I wanted to talk seriously to some journalists about LinkedIn being a worthwhile network for journalism, most of the time I was laughed at. LinkedIn was considered a too-nice place, with little scandals, a relatively slow pace of product innovation and almost a boring place to be for a journalist.

Skip ahead twelve months and LinkedIn is a serious contender to take over Twitter’s place in the lives of many journalists globally.

In the 2023 edition of Reuters Institute’s “Journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions report”, LinkedIn has emerged as the most popular alternative according to media leaders from 53 countries, way ahead of any other network as a possible alternative.

And not only Twitter; some research suggests users who spend enough time on LinkedIn to consider it also a Facebook replacement. And despite its slow product development, now it’s also considered a viable platform to fairly quickly grow a newsletter.

So, what happened? How did LinkedIn turn from being the uncool kid on the block to the shiny alternative so many claim has made social networking a more useful experience?

LinkedIn’s path to the big leagues

LinkedIn claims it has 875 million “members”, but it does not release insights into its monthly active user (MAU) data which we can say with a reasonable certainty is smaller than 875 million.

Side note: Most newsrooms nowadays use the term “member” to indicate an active involvement, either by financial support or other means. Here the term is being used much more loosely to label anyone who registered an account and might have forgotten about it years ago and never touched it again.

According to Statista’s research, in the US, almost 50% of its app users used the app at least once a month and some have calculated that by the end of 2022 LinkedIn had 310 million MAUs.

To compare, Twitter’s monetizable daily active usage (mDAU) in Q2 2022 was 237.8 million, and in December it reported to have over 368 million monthly active users worldwide.

LinkedIn got an earlier start (2003) than Twitter (2006) and, probably because of its label as a “professional network”, was always a bit behind in terms of growth and platform innovation.

In December 2016, Microsoft completed its acquisition of LinkedIn, which analyst Ben Thompson of Stratechery at the time called unexpected, and explained that with LinkedIn Microsoft could form a direct relationship with its end users.

Microsoft went on to integrate some of LinkedIn features into its tools and today, if you are using Outlook, you can see your contact’s LinkedIn profile, to give one example.

Its big redesign in 2017 made it look like Facebook, which some considered a smart move and others hated (as with all redesigns, I guess).

In 2021, LinkedIn’s revenue surpassed $10 billion and its advertising business surpassed $1 billion. In 2022, LinkedIn’s subscription business also surpassed $1 billion.

LinkedIn was probably the last app to introduce the Stories format in 2021 and it didn’t stick, so was turned off a year later. The social network was also the last one to introduce newsletters, but unlike Twitter and Facebook that shut them down, newsletters on LinkedIn thrive.

In a recent interview, the platform’s chief product officer, Tomer Cohen, said they have 150 million newsletter subscriptions running right now on the platform, growing extremely quickly.

In 2022, the Slovak market research and marketing consultancy Go4insight did a large-scale survey of LinkedIn users in the country. They found out that LinkedIn users use Facebook more, Instagram to the same extent, Twitter and TikTok much less.

But when asked which network do they rate most favorably, it was LinkedIn. Facebook was actually rated the least favorable of all, despite higher usage.

Another takeaway from the survey was that heavy users of the platform have a greater understanding of contributions of a “non-work” nature and welcome them as refreshments. The term used to describe this in the survey was “Facebookization of LinkedIn”.

Why are journalists, media leaders and news organizations increasingly using LinkedIn

In the recent months I wanted to understand why I see more of my colleagues – and not just in Slovakia but fellow journalists and media professionals across the board – gravitating towards LinkedIn. 

One “aha moment” came at the Forum Francophone in Paris, where I was asked to present a retention strategy for subscribers of Denník SME I have worked on since 2021 (I summed it up in this article for The Fix).

The day after the conference I met some other speakers and we had breakfast together. After we split up to catch our flights, no one handed out business cards, everyone just said “Bye, let’s connect on LinkedIn” (and we did).

When I used to visit international conferences before the Covid-19 pandemic, that line was more or less the same, but the platform mentioned used to be Twitter because most people working in media and journalism spent most of their days there. Something has changed.

I host a weekly technology podcast and listen to many tech and media podcasts, read Substacks of the same topics, and a lowered Twitter usage could have been felt across the board. 

Sure, that’s all subjective and I don’t have hard data to back this up. Still, I don’t remember in recent memory that so many high-profile journalists who claimed to be addicted to Twitter engaged less on the platform or altogether stopped. 

Vox has published a somewhat different take diving deeper into why journalists aren’t leaving the platform en masse and it came down to two things: the beats they are covering with Twitter being still the most useful network for that and Twitter still being an efficient news-gathering source.

I was surprised LinkedIn wasn’t mentioned in the article even once, but niche alternatives with a much smaller user base like Mastodon and Post got a shoutout.

Since I wrote an opinion piece for The Fix after Twitter suspended some journalists covering Elon Musk, I have been less active on Twitter and increased my engagement on LinkedIn.

The first reason why LinkedIn was an obvious choice was the similar size to Twitter and the similar logic of an infinity feed which mixes text, images and videos (and PDFs, which it turns into horizontal slides).

I was never too active on LinkedIn but maintained a weekly habit of adding one or two posts to the platform which to my surprise was enough to grow a sizable audience.

Another reason was that I have seen some of the journalists I have been following on Twitter sharing their LinkedIn profiles and saying they will be moving more of their social media time over there.

And lastly, I found the platform to bring me more useful information than I initially thought, albeit still feeding me enough “LinkedIn feel-good nonsense” to make me doubt its usefulness compared to Twitter.

At the moment, I can tell I haven’t found LinkedIn to be a definitive alternative to Twitter, yet for the time being, it will remain my number one social media choice.

One more informative alternative to Twitter I have seen some journalists mention was the second coming of RSS readers, with Readwise Readerbeing the frontrunner.

Still in beta, it seems to offer a lot of features including highlights and summaries of not only articles but also YouTube videos thanks to the GPT-3 integration.

To sum up, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to become a general-purpose social media platform like Facebook or Twitter and despite the chance Twitter’s botched change in ownership has given it, its leaders remain focused on “connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”.

David Tvrdon

This piece was originally published in The Fix and is re-published with permission.



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Facebook Faces Yet Another Outage: Platform Encounters Technical Issues Again

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Facebook Problem Again

Uppdated: It seems that today’s issues with Facebook haven’t affected as many users as the last time. A smaller group of people appears to be impacted this time around, which is a relief compared to the larger incident before. Nevertheless, it’s still frustrating for those affected, and hopefully, the issues will be resolved soon by the Facebook team.

Facebook had another problem today (March 20, 2024). According to Downdetector, a website that shows when other websites are not working, many people had trouble using Facebook.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has had issues. Just a little while ago, there was another problem that stopped people from using the site. Today, when people tried to use Facebook, it didn’t work like it should. People couldn’t see their friends’ posts, and sometimes the website wouldn’t even load.

Downdetector, which watches out for problems on websites, showed that lots of people were having trouble with Facebook. People from all over the world said they couldn’t use the site, and they were not happy about it.

When websites like Facebook have problems, it affects a lot of people. It’s not just about not being able to see posts or chat with friends. It can also impact businesses that use Facebook to reach customers.

Since Facebook owns Messenger and Instagram, the problems with Facebook also meant that people had trouble using these apps. It made the situation even more frustrating for many users, who rely on these apps to stay connected with others.

During this recent problem, one thing is obvious: the internet is always changing, and even big websites like Facebook can have problems. While people wait for Facebook to fix the issue, it shows us how easily things online can go wrong. It’s a good reminder that we should have backup plans for staying connected online, just in case something like this happens again.

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Christian family goes in hiding after being cleared of blasphemy

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Christian family goes in hiding after being cleared of blasphemy

LAHORE, Pakistan — A court in Pakistan granted bail to a Christian falsely charged with blasphemy, but he and his family have separated and gone into hiding amid threats to their lives, sources said.

Haroon Shahzad (right) with attorney Aneeqa Maria. | The Voice Society/Morning Star News

Haroon Shahzad, 45, was released from Sargodha District Jail on Nov. 15, said his attorney, Aneeqa Maria. Shahzad was charged with blasphemy on June 30 after posting Bible verses on Facebook that infuriated Muslims, causing dozens of Christian families in Chak 49 Shumaali, near Sargodha in Punjab Province, to flee their homes.

Lahore High Court Judge Ali Baqir Najfi granted bail on Nov. 6, but the decision and his release on Nov. 15 were not made public until now due to security fears for his life, Maria said.

Shahzad told Morning Star News by telephone from an undisclosed location that the false accusation has changed his family’s lives forever.

“My family has been on the run from the time I was implicated in this false charge and arrested by the police under mob pressure,” Shahzad told Morning Star News. “My eldest daughter had just started her second year in college, but it’s been more than four months now that she hasn’t been able to return to her institution. My other children are also unable to resume their education as my family is compelled to change their location after 15-20 days as a security precaution.”

Though he was not tortured during incarceration, he said, the pain of being away from his family and thinking about their well-being and safety gave him countless sleepless nights.

“All of this is due to the fact that the complainant, Imran Ladhar, has widely shared my photo on social media and declared me liable for death for alleged blasphemy,” he said in a choked voice. “As soon as Ladhar heard about my bail, he and his accomplices started gathering people in the village and incited them against me and my family. He’s trying his best to ensure that we are never able to go back to the village.”

Shahzad has met with his family only once since his release on bail, and they are unable to return to their village in the foreseeable future, he said.

“We are not together,” he told Morning Star News. “They are living at a relative’s house while I’m taking refuge elsewhere. I don’t know when this agonizing situation will come to an end.”

The Christian said the complainant, said to be a member of Islamist extremist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and also allegedly connected with banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, filed the charge because of a grudge. Shahzad said he and his family had obtained valuable government land and allotted it for construction of a church building, and Ladhar and others had filed multiple cases against the allotment and lost all of them after a four-year legal battle.

“Another probable reason for Ladhar’s jealousy could be that we were financially better off than most Christian families of the village,” he said. “I was running a successful paint business in Sargodha city, but that too has shut down due to this case.”

Regarding the social media post, Shahzad said he had no intention of hurting Muslim sentiments by sharing the biblical verse on his Facebook page.

“I posted the verse a week before Eid Al Adha [Feast of the Sacrifice] but I had no idea that it would be used to target me and my family,” he said. “In fact, when I came to know that Ladhar was provoking the villagers against me, I deleted the post and decided to meet the village elders to explain my position.”

The village elders were already influenced by Ladhar and refused to listen to him, Shahzad said.

“I was left with no option but to flee the village when I heard that Ladhar was amassing a mob to attack me,” he said.

Shahzad pleaded with government authorities for justice, saying he should not be punished for sharing a verse from the Bible that in no way constituted blasphemy.

Similar to other cases

Shahzad’s attorney, Maria, told Morning Star News that events in Shahzad’s case were similar to other blasphemy cases filed against Christians.

“Defective investigation, mala fide on the part of the police and complainant, violent protests against the accused persons and threats to them and their families, forcing their displacement from their ancestral areas, have become hallmarks of all blasphemy allegations in Pakistan,” said Maria, head of The Voice Society, a Christian paralegal organization.

She said that the case filed against Shahzad was gross violation of Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which states that police cannot register a case under the Section 295-A blasphemy statute against a private citizen without the approval of the provincial government or federal agencies.

Maria added that Shahzad and his family have continued to suffer even though there was no evidence of blasphemy.

“The social stigma attached with a blasphemy accusation will likely have a long-lasting impact on their lives, whereas his accuser, Imran Ladhar, would not have to face any consequence of his false accusation,” she said.

The judge who granted bail noted that Shahzad was charged with blasphemy under Section 295-A, which is a non-cognizable offense, and Section 298, which is bailable. The judge also noted that police had not submitted the forensic report of Shahzad’s cell phone and said evidence was required to prove that the social media was blasphemous, according to Maria.

Bail was set at 100,000 Pakistani rupees (US $350) and two personal sureties, and the judge ordered police to further investigate, she said.

Shahzad, a paint contractor, on June 29 posted on his Facebook page 1 Cor. 10:18-21 regarding food sacrificed to idols, as Muslims were beginning the four-day festival of Eid al-Adha, which involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat.

A Muslim villager took a screenshot of the post, sent it to local social media groups and accused Shahzad of likening Muslims to pagans and disrespecting the Abrahamic tradition of animal sacrifice.

Though Shahzad made no comment in the post, inflammatory or otherwise, the situation became tense after Friday prayers when announcements were made from mosque loudspeakers telling people to gather for a protest, family sources previously told Morning Star News.

Fearing violence as mobs grew in the village, most Christian families fled their homes, leaving everything behind.

In a bid to restore order, the police registered a case against Shahzad under Sections 295-A and 298. Section 295-A relates to “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs” and is punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine, or both. Section 298 prescribes up to one year in prison and a fine, or both, for hurting religious sentiments.

Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, up from eighth the previous year.

Morning Star News is the only independent news service focusing exclusively on the persecution of Christians. The nonprofit’s mission is to provide complete, reliable, even-handed news in order to empower those in the free world to help persecuted Christians, and to encourage persecuted Christians by informing them that they are not alone in their suffering.

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Individual + Team Stats: Hornets vs. Timberwolves

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CHARLOTTE HORNETS MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES You can follow us for future coverage by liking us on Facebook & following us on X: Facebook – All Hornets X – …

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