May 31, 2013
LinkedIn Adding Rich Media, Sharable Support
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
That endless stream of photos, captions and inspirational graphics that fill your Facebook news stream are about to break into your LinkedIn updates. The social network that's made a name for itself for professional networking and job searching has added rich media capabilities, which were explained in a post on the LinkedIn blog.
LinkedIn added rich media to profile posts "to help you visually showcase your professional story and accomplishments," said Itamar Orgad, in the blog post. Examples of what can be added include presentations, pictures of inspirational quotes or infographics speaking to a professional or company's industry. The new feature also lets companies and professionals post more photos than just a profile image. This might include group employee shots, or photos reporting on company events such as an open house or participation in a community outreach program.
The rich media features were seeded out to some users as a test, and will roll out to the rest of the LinkedIn audience over the next few weeks. The blog post prompts users to post rich media files by clicking on the paperclip that appears at the right side of the share box on the LinkedIn homepage.
While LinkedIn is adding rich media, it did not talk about any abilities to add video. The site does say it is possible to share rich media that is hosted on other sites by posting in a URL, so video can be shared, if not hosted, on a profile news stream.
Presentations and company updates are a useful addition to LinkedIn. However, the suggestion for users to add inspirational quotes has been recognized as taking the professional-bent social network in the direction of Facebook. "The danger LinkedIn faces is that its stream of work-related content will become cluttered with the kind of vapid visual noise that has taken over Facebook's News Feed," an article on ReadWriteWeb said.
In addition to personal updates using rich media, LinkedIn is giving the ability to upload images and files to Company Page administrators. LinkedIn's blog post reports that there are 2.9 million such Company Page admins. "So you can expect to see richer and more engaging visual content flowing across your LinkedIn experience," the post said. "In the meantime, we look forward to seeing what you have to share and say about your professional universe through pictures, slides and more!"
Companies might use the new abilities to post information -- as well as supporting photos, graphics and white papers -- about the company's direction and other initiatives. Images and PowerPoint presentations might help job seekers learn about the company, or about the working environment or hiring initiatives.
Individuals can establish themselves as leaders in their industry by posting infographics and presentations that speak to industry concerns and solutions.
LinkedIn is providing an outlet for professionals, even as they are trying to get away from that professional image. The new rich media addition also makes LinkedIn a more compelling social network to visit. Graphics and images will enhance the site, and encourage people to post and visit to see each other's posts.