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LinkedIn Launches Expanded ‘Career Break’ Listing Option to All Users



LinkedIn Launches Expanded 'Career Break' Listing Option to All Users

After launching an initial variation of its ‘Career Break’ option last April, LinkedIn has now fully launched the feature to all users, which enables users to add more context to explain any gaps in their career history, with a range of alternative job title or gap options

As you can see in these example screens, now, users can add in more details to explain a career gap, whether it was taken for full-time parenting, bereavement, caregiving, a gap year, or other life needs or experiences that may arise.

LinkedIn says that this has been a much-requested feature, especially in more recent times.

As per LinkedIn:

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen these work pauses increase even more as the pandemic upended the traditional workplace. Many people were forced to leave their jobs; others chose to take a career break to better manage life outside of work.”

Indeed, according to a survey of more than 23,000 professionals, LinkedIn found that nearly two-thirds of employees have taken a break at some point in their professional career.

With that in mind, the new Career Break option could be a big help, enabling LinkedIn members to fill in any gaps in their career history with more context.

LinkedIn Career Break

LinkedIn also notes that the feature could be particularly beneficial for women, with more than 68% of women noting that they want more ways to positively represent their career breaks “by highlighting skills learned and experiences they had during a work pause”. 

As noted, LinkedIn did launch a variation of the option last year, which was more specifically focused on stay-at-home parents, and providing a means to cover gaps in people’s professional timeline.

LinkedIn Career Break

The new, expanded listing options will give more credence to the work that people do within these gap periods, so rather than hiding those experiences, they’re displayed front and center, which could actually be a positive in recruiter assessments.

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It’ll take some time for this to become the norm, and it may or may not have a major impact on employer decision-making just yet. But it’s a more complete, comprehensive listing option, which could help in your job search efforts.

The new Career Break listing option is now available to all LinkedIn members.

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Meta Announces WhatsApp Cloud API to Provide Hosting Support for SMBs



Meta Announces WhatsApp Cloud API to Provide Hosting Support for SMBs

After previewing the option back in 2020, today, at its first-ever ‘Conversations’ messaging conference, Meta has announced that it’s launching the WhatsApp Cloud API, which will provide free, secure cloud hosting services for businesses.

As it sounds, the WhatsApp Cloud API will essentially host your conversation data on Meta’s servers, which will improve connection and speed, but will come with a degree of privacy trade-off.

The main benefits will be improved speed in messaging response, while it’ll also help to eliminate server expenses, which could be a big benefit to smaller businesses, in particular. It’ll also facilitate faster access to new WhatsApp business features as they become available.

The downside is that it will mean more reliance on Meta, while you’ll also need to dilute WhatsApp’s messaging security measures:

As Meta described in its original announcement:

If a business chooses to use a third-party vendor to operate the WhatsApp Business API on their behalf, we do not consider that to be end-to-end encrypted since the business you are messaging has chosen to give a third-party vendor access to those messages. This will also be the case if that third-party vendor is Facebook.”

As such, WhatsApp will include new notifications on consumer-to-business exchanges conducted through Meta hosting.

WhatsApp message prompts

How you feel about such trade-offs will come down to your personal perspective, but the offering could be highly valuable for smaller businesses looking to build out their tech stack, without having to sign on to a third-party hosting vendor, or buy their own hardware.

But again, that does also mean increasing your reliance on Meta, which has notoriously changed the rules on businesses in the past, leaving many in the lurch.

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The real benefit, however, will likely be in developing regions, where WhatsApp is the dominant messaging platform, and many small businesses are looking for ways to maximize their reach and transactions in-app. If Meta can assist them in building their business, that could be a big step in making WhatsApp a more critical utility, for many more users, while also, eventually, providing a direct revenue pathway for the messaging platform.

Though it does feel like a bit of a honey trap. Meta has already flagged that it will eventually introduce charges for these additional elements, without specifically outlining what those costs will be. Once businesses are reliant on such, it’ll be too late to back out, and Meta could ensnare them via incremental increases, that may eventually become a big earner for the company.

On another front, Meta also announced Recurring Notifications on Messenger, which will enable businesses to re-engage people within a messaging thread. The feature is only available to premium users at present, which doesn’t cost more to be part of right now, but will in future as Meta looks to incorporate new charges for its messaging and hosting tools.

You can check out replays of the Conversations conference presentations here.

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