To LinkedIn regulars, let me ask you when was the last time you checked LinkedIn Groups? I don’t remember when I did, reason being a lot of spam and very less engagement. At one point every LinkedIn marketer was gung ho about Groups but earlier this year I thought LinkedIn will drop Groups from its product offerings.
I’ve been proved wrong; LinkedIn is revamping more than 2 million Groups on its network. Reported by Venturebeat, LinkedIn has decided to redesign Groups so that it can regain the good old day engagement back. Besides expanding the multi-app strategy, LinkedIn is also launching a standalone app for Groups.
LinkedIn Groups go private
Launched in 2004, LinkedIn Groups was one of the hotbeds for professionals discussing on various topics. However, over the years it has turned into a sales and spam discussion forum. From here on LinkedIn has decided to make groups private by default to ensure the content isn’t indexed by search engines, and all members need to be vouched for in order to gain admission.
This new change will only allow Group members to see the contents of conversations, and only members will be allowed to contribute. “Members-only groups have created significantly more participation and conversations than others (up to five times more), indicating that members feel more confident contributing in these types of groups,” LinkedIn wrote in a post in its help center.
“We want you to be professional when you’re having conversations,” said Minal Mehta, LinkedIn’s product lead for Groups. “Groups is such a valuable part of LinkedIn. When it works and when I engage, what I get is amazing.”
Among other changes to Groups, LinkedIn has introduced improved filters to strip out spammy and low-quality content. It has removed the Promotions tab, which currently collects such posts. Images and mentions have been included in the conversations to make it more vibrant and easy.
LinkedIn has also decided to cut off Subgroups by converting them to independent Groups. “We recognize that subgroups were important to the organization of some of our larger groups. However, for the majority of our members, the experience was confusing.”
For Group owners, the change means they will have to decide whether to make their Group a Standard or Unlisted Group. The main difference between the two is control and visibility. Unlisted Groups won’t appear in the LinkedIn directory of Groups, Group badges won’t display on members’ profiles, and only owners and managers can invite and approve new members.
In Standard Groups, members can invite first-degree LinkedIn connections to join and can also approve requests to join from such connections.
Standalone app for Groups
LinkedIn has also decided to release standalone iOS app for Groups today. According to Venturebeat, after a user logs in he is shown multiple options. The first is highlights, which shows you engaging discussions from each group you belong to. Every day will have new highlights, and you can engage with that discussion right from the app.
The mobile app uses a learning algorithm to make sure you’re shown content that really matters to you, not the spam people are accustomed to seeing in groups.
There is a tab where you can discover interesting groups and people. The recommendation algorithm again displays results based on skills you have, industry experience, previous group memberships, and more.
Even the actual Groups pages have undergone a clean and refreshing change. LinkedIn has also created a special tab within group pages that it hopes will be a hub for job discussions and worked on minimizing the emails from Groups.
Right now, LinkedIn Groups will be made available on the Web and on iOS devices. An Android version is coming, but no timeline has been provided.
The latest changes come right after LinkedIn overhauled its much needed Messaging service. The new messaging feature, which was built from scratch, allows for one-to-one conversations, as well as group chat. The conversations are now powered with an emoji, a sticker or a GIF.
These changes are in sync with the changing times of conversations and a much needed revamp for LinkedIn Groups.