LinkedIn has announced some new updates to help facilitate more discovery and engagement in the app, including a new ‘Discover’ feed, more contextual info on job listings and updates for groups.
Each of these updates has some level of functional value, and it’ll be interesting to see how LinkedIn members take to the options, or not, over the coming months.
First off, LinkedIn’s currently testing a new ‘Discover’ feed, which, as is the trend of the moment in social media, aims to highlight algorithmically recommended content that you may be interested in, based on your in-app activity.
As you can see in these example screens, LinkedIn’s Discover feed will highlight newsletters, videos, events and more, matched to you, based on your interests. So it’s kind of like TikTok’s ‘For You’ feed, but for professional updates on LinkedIn.
Sounds weird? Yeah, it kind of seems it.
I mean, it could be good, but whether people really want to see an expanded set of updates from people and businesses that they don’t already follow, and aren’t already connected to, seems questionable, given established behaviors in the app.
Still, it’s worth an experiment, and it’ll be interesting to see whether it helps the platform build on its current ‘record levels’ of engagement. It could also provide more capacity for discovery among LinkedIn users that are interested in your sector – which could be another reason to keep your LinkedIn content flowing.
LinkedIn’s been testing the new feed over the past month, with some users now seeing the new Discover tab in the app.
Here’s a video of how it works in practice:
On another front, LinkedIn’s also adding a new ‘Meet the team’ section on the details page in job listings, in order to help applicants get a better feel for who the team is, what they’re working towards, as well as links to their LinkedIn profiles, so candidates can get a better understanding of what they’re interested in, and passionate about.
As you can see in this example, the new display will feature both the job poster as well as members of the hiring team that shared the job.
“In addition, it will show the mutual connections (including 2nd-degree connections) between the applicant and the hiring team, to help facilitate a productive conversation.”
LinkedIn’s also testing a new ‘Celebrations’ display in your ‘Notifications’ stream, in order to better enable members to keep up with the latest job milestones, changes, work anniversaries, etc.
As you can see here, the new prompts will give you more ways to stay in touch with your connections, based on key changes and events. It could be a good way to stay front of mind with important connections – though it could also lead to more spam (like templated birthday messages from people who never engage with you otherwise).
Finally, LinkedIn’s also adding some new elements for LinkedIn Groups, the once thriving engagement element that, for a long time now, has been largely ignored, and has become so filled with spam in many groups that it’s just not worth joining.
Still, LinkedIn says that many people get significant value from Groups:
“We often hear from members how much they cherish their LinkedIn Groups experience. For millions of professionals around the world, groups are the go-to for advice, support, and industry tips on LinkedIn.”
‘Cherish’ seems like an exuberant descriptor here, but nonetheless, LinkedIn’s looking to foster more group engagement, with new features like additional acceptance criteria for joining a group, and personalized welcome notes for new members.
Not sure they add much to the overall groups experience, but they do provide more ways for group admins to manage their communities, which could ensure more people do indeed ‘cherish’ their time in groups.
These new options don’t offer a heap of functional value, but they are enhancements to the current LinkedIn experience, which could have value in varying use cases and contexts.
The options also move LinkedIn more into line with other social apps, with algorithmic recommendations, improved group tools and more.
Which makes a lot of sense, and at the least, it’s worth LinkedIn trying these things out, in order to see what types of response it can get.
Elon Musk Outlines Roadmap for ‘Twitter 2.0’ in New Slide Deck
Elon Musk has provided some more insight into his evolving plan for Twitter, which will now also see the company embark on a hiring push, after firing 65% of its workforce, in order to get in more development and engineering talent to help realize Musk’s grand vision.
And with that, Musk has put together a new pitch deck, of sorts, which aims to clarify his current plan. Which, as noted, is evolving quickly, so it may end up being totally different, it may be indicative – we don’t know for sure as yet.
But he is slowly clarifying and honing in on specific elements.
Here’s a look at the collection of slides that Musk has put together to present his current strategic outline for the app.
As you can see in this first slide, Musk’s presentation shows that new account sign-ups are at an all-time high, with the chart going back to 2014.
I’m not sure what that means in isolation. Definitely, that could mean that more people are keen to get in on Twitter conversation, and with Facebook getting stale, and Instagram suffering an identity crisis, Twitter is seemingly becoming a more interesting consideration.
But it would also be worth noting where these new sign-ups are coming from. Are these US users, maybe freedom of speech-ers signing up to Elon’s new, more open public square? Are these users in developing markets, as has been Twitter’s predominant growth trend for the past three years, as US usage has stagnated?
Could this be scammers signing up for a lot more accounts very quickly – because in order to qualify for Twitter Blue, and get a blue checkmark, accounts will have to have been active for at least 90 days prior?
It’s a stat, for sure, but without further context, it’s hard to make any conclusion on what it means.
The next chart is User Active Minutes, which is also at an all-time high.
That is interesting – based on this chart, divided by the current number of active users, which Musk has also shared, the average Twitter user is now spending 31.5 minutes per day in the app.
That’s not radically different than what’s been previously reported, though some reports have suggested Twitter usage has declined significantly in recent times. These numbers actually reinforce that, with Twitter’s session time down in the low teens (seemingly) till 2021, then rising again of late – though I suspect the lower chart is supposed to say ‘November 2022’ at the bottom right.
Basically, the data shows that Twitter is back at its previous usage levels, after losing its way for some time. Which is not surprising given Musk’s capacity to spark controversy and discussion.
There are also some more questionable charts that show a decline in hate speech:
Note that the qualifier here is tweets ‘with 1+ slur’ from a curated list, and a ‘Toxicity score’ of 0.91 or higher. This is a little vague and lacks the full context of what this represents.
There’s also this:
Which just shows that a lot more people were engaging in impersonation in the app when Twitter started allowing them to buy Blue verification ticks, then, when Twitter pulled the $8 verification plan, fewer impersonations were reported.
Like, yeah, you opened the door for them to scam people with misleading verified accounts, so they took advantage, and now they’re not, because they can’t. At least until Twitter re-launches the $8 verification plan next week.
Musk then also shared this overview of his current roadmap, which is pretty much a re-angling of Twitter’s current features.
‘Advertising as entertainment’ uses an example of an automated sampling script to create a more engaging ad experience (‘like this tweet and I’ll show you which house you belong to based on your tweets’). Not sure if Musk is suggesting that this is something Twitter will be offering as an ad tool, but thus far, these types of activations have been created by brand partners, in collaboration with Twitter. If Twitter does move to make this an actual ad feature, that could be difficult to scale.
Note that Twitter also released Branded Likes, a related ad engagement option, back in June.
The next frame, as you can see, just says video with a randomized example
Not sure exactly what this means, but Musk has flagged allowing longer video clips to be attached to tweets, while he’s also talking about a creator monetization program, which would offer a more beneficial revenue share than YouTube’s 45/55 split.
Encrypted DMs are fast becoming the standard, with Meta also integrating full encryption across Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp. That’s raised the hackles of many law enforcement groups, who say that this will offer protection for criminals, but it will also provide more security, and assurance, for general users.
There’s also Longform Tweets, for which Musk has shared a screenshot of Twitter Notes, which has been in development over the past year.
Notes enables you to create posts of up to 2,500 words, which are then natively embedded into the Twitter app for easy sharing.
Then there’s the revamped $8 verification plan, which I’ve shared my thoughts on here.
Oh, and payments:
No examples here, but based on Musk’s previous statements, it seems like he’s looking to follow the same game plan with payments that various other apps have already tried. You start off by facilitating funds transfers between accounts, enabling fee-free remittance, a key benefit in developing markets. Then, once people are already moving money in the app, you offer more ways to use it, via in-app purchases, bill payments, banking, etc.
This is Musk’s big, overarching plan to make Twitter a more critical app – but as noted, various others have tried, and the regulatory hurdles alone have made it a nightmare to enact.
Maybe Musk will have better luck in moving things forward, but it’s a big challenge, which will take time – which is also why there’s no example image for this as yet.
Of course, the mention of payments will also fire up all the crypto enthusiasts, who view Musk as a key leader in mainstreaming crypto payments. That definitely won’t be happening, but I suspect that this is another reason why Musk has left this slide blank, to offer a glimmer of hope to his fanatical fan base.
Which is what Elon does best. Question his business and intellectual acumen all you want, but he sure does know how to get attention, which is really the most valuable, tangible skill that he brings to any project. He’s a walking PR machine, who’s now been given the keys to his own platform millions of users, and it’s pretty clear that he’s enjoying the attention he now commands as Twitter-in-chief.
The next question then is, how many media tricks does Elon have up his sleeve?
Each of these actions has sparked its own media cycle, and brought a heap more attention to Musk and Twitter as a result, but when the stunts run out, what then?
Can Musk keep coming up with more attention-grabbing changes at the app, or will this roadmap actually lead to a more sustainable business, enabling him to stop grabbing headlines, and leave Twitter to its own devices?
In essence, that’s what these usage charts show, that Musk is really good at getting attention.
But it’s what comes after that will make or break the business.
Oh, also, someone has suggested that the tweet character count should be expanded to 420 instead of the current 280. Given Musk’s affinity for this number, that’ll probably happen.
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