Mirroring the recent redesigns of Twitter and Google+, LinkedIn has announced that it will debut an aesthetically revamped profile to its premium users in the coming weeks, focusing on dominant cover photos reminiscent of those first debuted by Facebook in 2011.
In addition to the introduction of these cover photos, LinkedIn will also be offering a bevvy of new services that will provide premium members the ability to add keywords to their profile, make their profile completely visible to all users, and access the top 100 rankings of industry peers.
This feature is based on aggregate profile views and allows users to compare their profiles to those of their most successful industry connections.
These changes introduce a far more social element to LinkedIn, a social network that has long prided itself on being as antisocial as possible. Linkedn has historically focused exclusively on professional networking and has shunned the social base of many other networks. Originally, user profiles didn’t even have photos, although those were eventually introduced after administrators surmised that it may be easier to recognize a candidate after an interview by their photo rather than by their name alone.
Although some may find the convergence of social media toward Facebook’s standard as disturbing, it does make sense. Despite struggling in younger markets, Facebook has set the gold standard of social media design. Its simple interface and emphasis on eye-catching visual content has played a massive role in its rise to the top of the Internet totem pole.
While these latest updates may force LinkedIn away from its initial identity as a purely networking site and a place for an online resume to reside, it may allow job seekers to inject personal flair into their profiles to help them stand out more during hiring. This could potentially help an employer determine if a candidate is a good fit for their firm’s culture and value set, or if their time would be best spent looking at other potential employees.
Although the update is only available to premium users at this point, it will debut across the entire social network sometime in the next few months. Whether this new format will benefit job seekers remains to be seen[AN1] , however, it’s an interesting case study in how more and more social media sites are undergoing redesigns based on the benchmark set by Facebook. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how the design and functionality trends set by the biggest social media sites trickle down to smaller networks.
What do you think of LinkedIn’s new redesign? Is it an indication of Social Media Convergence? Let us know in the comments section, or on Facebook and Twitter
[ Sources: Read/Write, Read/Write 2, LinkedIn, MarketingLand ]