There has been a lot of fuss recently about LinkedIn “turning into Facebook”. The main reason behind this concern is the emphasised focus on publishing, and the emulation of Facebook’s newsfeed. Now, I agree that LinkedIn’s mobile newsfeed does mimic Facebook, but I don’t really blame them. It’s clean, it’s recognisable, and it works.
The tl;dr of this article is:
LinkedIn is what you make it. If you treat it like Facebook, it will act like Facebook.
Up until recently, I too was concerned with the possibility of my LinkedIn newsfeed going rogue. A lot of us are fed up with the amount of time we spend on Facebook in comparison to the little value we get from the newsfeed. LinkedIn is a great option if you are looking for more professional content, but if you feel your LinkedIn feed is losing quality, it’s probably your own fault. Let me explain.
The problem with Facebook is we have become over-connected and our newsfeeds are now filled with irrelevant content that we do not care for. Even the best engineers at Facebook are yet to come up with algorithms that will present the content that really resonates with us. Disclaimer: this is no easy task. I’m not suggesting in a million years myself or anyone SHOULD be able to do it.
There’s a simple reason for this – Facebook users are over-connected. I’m talking thousands of “friends”. Even with fantastic algorithms and data on your interests and engagement with specific people, there is no formula that can jump inside your brain and find out exactly what you want! This has to be decided by the user, and it comes back to choosing who you connect with. In the case of Facebook, I believe that we’re beyond the point of no return. I’ve given up on the Facebook newsfeed and am spending my time elsewhere, but let’s not make this same mistake with LinkedIn.
Pick your connections carefully.
At the end of the day, LinkedIn is just a tool. You can use LinkedIn for whatever you so please. If you’re out there hunting for a job, sure, join a bunch of groups in that field. If you’re trying to sell glow in the dark jellyfish lights, sure, go connect with marine biologists who are scared of the dark. But please understand, if you’re a recruiter and you have thousands of connections on LinkedIn, don’t expect some algorithm to go sorting through the shit for you. When it comes to a good quality, tailored newsfeed, you make make your own destiny. It revolves around: 1) who you connect with, 2) the pages you like, and 3) the groups you join. If you’re sending requests to everyone with “Graduate” in their profile description, you have no entitlement to a perfectly tailored newsfeed.
In an article I read recently, someone complained that:
“the publishing side [of LinkedIn] has become an unprofessional parody of Facebook, awash with memes, maths puzzles, and pictures of Minions.”
That feed is a direct result of your own activity, don’t blame the platform.
PS Putting (3k+ connections) in your LinkedIn name is neither impressive nor a turn on.
PPS While we’re on the topic of LinkedIn vs Facebook, turns out that investors found out the hard way the companies aren’t in the same league when it comes to revenue growth either. The stock price fell sharply last month when management announced their revenue growth has slowed, and the share price is down 56% from this time last year.