I know LinkedIn has been avoiding getting all Facebookified, and didn’t want their mostly business-minded site to get all Twitterized, and certainly not all Google Plussy, but this is looooong overdue.
Beginning today, LinkedIn will begin rolling out the ability to “mention” other users in our updates. Hallelujah!
Some might find this obnoxious, and don’t look forward to their inboxes filling up with notices of people actually having conversations with them, but I find that a desirable feature because I’m actually interested in…well…conversations in these spaces. Conversations put the Social in Social Media.
It’s not active on my account, yet, thus confirming that I’m not one of the chosen few like my pup, Ernie, thinks I am, so I can’t give you my own screen shots.
Here is how it’s going to happen:
On your Home Page, when you type your update, you can begin to type someone’s name. You don’t even need an @ or a + or anything very fancy at all…just type, sort of the way it happens on Facebook….well, other than the times when it doesn’t work on Facebook, but that’s another story.
You will then see a drop-down list of 1st-degree connections whose names begin with those characters. Just choose the one you want, and poof, there you go, they’re tagged, or mentioned!
After you have “mentioned” them, they will receive notification they have been mentioned on LinkedIn.
You can also tag those who are not 1st-degree connections IF you are in the comments section of another post, and if that potential connection has also commented there. We see this on Facebook and Google+, too.
Here’s another feature LinkedIn has built in to mentions. If you have your Twitter account connected, it appears you can tag, or mention, one of your Twitter connections and your comment will appear in their Twitter feed. They show a screenshot (see below), but don’t talk about it, so I will have to research the ins and out of this a bit more and get back to you. It is reminiscent of Twitter mentions in blog-commenting plugins, such as Livefyre, which is what I use on this blog. When you tag a Twitter follower in your comment, it tells them so on Twitter.
Just for the record, I’m not a proponent of linking your LinkedIn account to Twitter, but we can discuss that another time if you’d like. Actual time on actual site leads to actual conversation…let’s just leave it at that for now.
This is a good step for LinkedIn as the ability to follow up with people in this manner was sorely missing. This should encourage more conversation and interaction, which is, as I mentioned above, what Social Media networking is all about. It will also enable better real-time conversation, thus reducing the amount of catching someone’s comment directed toward you not being seen until a few days later when you happen to run across it, if you do at all. This all breeds connection, and that’s positive.
For now, this is only active on your Home Page, but LinkedIn tells us to stay tuned as we should begin seeing it in other areas of the site. Let’s hope adding it to Groups is next.
I do understand this will be abused, and some might get sick of it, but you have to take this for a spin because we’re not all out here on LinkedIn because it’s our hobby, after all.
Well-played, LinkedIn. You might actually find a bit more activity on-site as a result of this. But you knew that, didn’t you, you crazy kid!
Now let’s see how long it takes them to add photo-sharing features…countdown….10, 9, 8, 7, 6…….