Microsoft secured final regulatory approval of its $26.2 billion cash-only acquisition of LinkedIn in December 2016, and the social network has already undergone some substantial changes.
There’s an all-new look for desktop users. Out goes that tired, dated menu bar, and in comes a new, simplified iconography-based navigation bar.
LinkedIn’s messaging tools also now appear in an overlay pop-up which may seem spookily familiar to regular Facebook users.
The default profile view is also much cleaner, and the changes here will be of particular importance to anyone who wishes to be discovered and contacted via LinkedIn. User avatar photos now appear in a white keylined circle, centred on the page and overlapping with an optional header graphic:
If you’ve not updated your LinkedIn profile recently, I recommend you find a few minutes to visit LinkedIn.com through a desktop browser to see if you have access to the new layouts as they are being gradually rolled out to all users. You should check your photo still looks great in the new layout and update this and your background photo if required. Remember, these photos can depict anything you like but (1) keep it professional and (2) make sure both elements work well together as in the example above.
Experienced LinkedIn users will also uncover a raft a smaller, often quite subtle, changes that require a bit of re-learning to use the platform. For instance, there’s now no way to see all updates from the people and companies you follow—what used to be cryptically titled ‘Most Recent’ feed view—and LinkedIn only allows users to see the algorithm-controlled feed of posts and articles that it thinks you’ll find useful. The much-lauded Notes and Tags feature is also being quietly retired from LinkedIn.com and will only be accessible to paying LinkedIn Sales Navigator users from April.
There are dozens of minor changes in the new LinkedIn experience. Most of them won’t affect many users at all, and lots will go largely unnoticed. However, it’s good to finally see LinkedIn evolving its design and user interface. There’s still has much work to be done to keep LinkedIn in contention with a growing number of competing social platforms, but it’s off to a good start.