July 1, 2010 Jeff SanGeorge

LinkedIn Updates to Some Familiar looking Features

When I logged into LinkedIn’s group section today I was greeted with a message announcing that LinkedIn groups have been updated.
When I clicked on on the prompt I was greeted with the following screen:

One thing that I’ve noticed lately is that the more social media sites evolve, the more they look the same!
For example, the Like button (via Facebook) is one of the features LinkedIn has included in their upgrade. This is a quick and easy way for people to show that they read and agree with a post without having to write a comment.

Comments, likes, shares
; these are the of currency social media.  Social media sites like Linkedin are always trying to make user interfaces easier as well as making “the hurdle” to give approval to “things” (discussions, posts, etc..) lower, thereby encouraging more interactions or engagements. That is the same reason why Facebook changed becoming a “fan” of a page to “likes” a page. It’s much easier thing to say you like a brand  than it is to say that you are a fan of the same brand- lower hurdle, and less commitment.

The next notable thing about LinkedIn’s changes is under “Member info and Activity”. (see snapshot above) This is a feature that lets you find out more about a person by hovering over their profile. This neat little pop-up style box was first seen in WordPress blogs where you could hover over hyperlinks and get a glimpse of the linked site. Twitter implemented this feature a few months ago, allowing you to follow (or mention, or block) people without leaving your current page.
Most recently, Facebook rolled out the pop-up/hover feature just two days ago. If you hover over people’s names it will allow you to request to be a friend, or comment. Similarly hovering over brands and organizations will allow you to “like” them along with showing you who among your friends likes it as well. 

Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook, as well as numerous other sites are consistently looking for ways to make the user experience better. After all, they want you to join and continue coming back day after day. They have all tried several  improvements that didn’t work, so when one network sees a feature or protocol that works on another, it’s not long until they claim it for their own. Over time these features become “best practices” and industry standards, allowing users of one site to become familiar with the interface on others sites. In the end this makes the overall user experience better and more comfortable for all!

For more information on the new group features on Linkedin try this link: http://learn.linkedin.com/groups/

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