LinkedIn, the social media platform that connects employers and job seekers, has a brand new look, designed to reflect an inclusive, warm and welcoming professional community. This is the company’s first major redesign in five years, and it was developed to cater to the community of more than 700 million professionals who use the platform. LinkedIn has also added new features, including improved search functionality, message edits, and LinkedIn Stories to name a few.
First, let’s take a look at the redesign. It continues the new brand look the company unveiled last year. Today’s LinkedIn has a cleaner, more modern look that focuses on four main areas, according to Joann Wu, senior director of product design:
- Warmth: The new LinkedIn features a warm color palette with rounded shapes and buttons for a softer, friendlier experience.
- Intuitive: The redesign optimizes space, size and typography with a greater focus on the community and less on LinkedIn. Wu says the changes will help users navigate the app more easily.
- Simple: The new look features more white space.
- Inclusive and accessible: The redesign meets accessibility standards that allow for text scaling, contrast for readability and bigger touch targets. The site also has new illustrations to offer a better representation of the diverse communities, industries and professionals LinkedIn serves.
“With this new design, we hope to emulate the magic of the real, human experiences that take place on LinkedIn every day. No matter your background, experience, or where you are in your career, the power of community remains consistent in creating opportunity. And that it is that core belief that we want to celebrate and bring to life in how our members experience LinkedIn every day — whether looking for a new job, learning or teaching something new, expanding your professional network, or growing your business,” writes Wu in a September 24 blog post.
The redesign will be rolled out globally over the next several months, along with new features and enhancements, including a dark mode.
Improved search functionality
LinkedIn’s Ryan Roslansky announced that the redesign also includes improved search functionality, making it easier for users to find the people, events, groups and content that interest them. The experience is more personalized, and this will help users connect with others beyond their own networks.
Launch of Stories
Similar to Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn is launching LinkedIn Stories where members can tell a video story that will disappear in 24 hours. While it is not intuitive that this is a “must have” for professionals, LinkedIn says their testing shows it is a way to replace casual conversations and connections that happen in physical spaces. Testing was done in Brazil, the Netherlands, Australia, United Arab Emirates and France.
“Through tests in various regions around the world, we’ve seen members adopt this format to connect more personally and less formally with their peers and friends. In the COVID world, LinkedIn Stories are letting people replace those essential water cooler moments,” Roslansky explains.
Video call capability
LinkedIn users will now be able to start video calls with one click from within a conversation thread. The app integrates with Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans by Verizon and Zoom.
“LinkedIn is no longer just a place to just find people. It’s a place of personal and professional growth, a place of business growth, a place of economic growth, and a place that makes a difference in professional lives. It’s a community where you can be inspired, build relationships and discover unexpected opportunities,” says Roslansky.
“Whether we’re navigating a COVID downturn or post-COVID recovery, addressing an existing skills gap or a coming skills revolution, breaking systemic barriers to equal opportunity, or tackling whatever else defines work in the future, we’re fully committed to continuing to provide the tools and experiences that will let every professional connect to the right opportunities for them,” he adds.
Other new features include:
- Keyword filters are now available on mobile. They were previously only available on the web version.
- Users will be able to edit or delete sent messages.
- Messages can be deleted or archived in bulk, and there are new “reactions” available in message threads.
Using the freemium business model, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn offers a free version to members, and it also has several subscription and paid products including a premium features option, talent solutions, sales solutions, and learning solutions. These paid products have given Microsoft a nice stream of revenue since their acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016. In the company’s fourth quarter earnings report for fiscal year 2020, for the period ended June 30, 2020, LinkedIn revenue had increased 10% year-over-year to $181 million.
With tens of millions of Americans out of work, LinkedIn has become a critical professional platform for employers and job seekers alike. It is a way for employers to find new employees, for job seekers to connect with professionals in their industry and to find jobs. Roslansky says that members are sharing content on the platform in record numbers – consuming more than 1 million hours of LinkedIn Learning content weekly.
Despite the desperate need for LinkedIn in the wake of a pandemic, the technology company did not sit idly by, knowing it had a corner on the market. They continue to grow their audience and improve their value proposition by doing their best to meet the changing needs of the professional marketplace. This is impressive, and we are excited to see the new changes in action.