2018 LinkedIn in Review: The key changes that will impact your business

Over 16 months, LinkedIn has grown by 75 million users.

During this time LinkedIn has made some major changes to the platform. While change can be frustrating for some, these changes drive a focus on connection and engagement.
 
As 2018 comes to an end, let’s recap and take a look at the changes LinkedIn has implemented over the past year.
 
At the start of the year, we saw LinkedIn focus on Member Profiles by updating the layout.
 
Your profile head shot has shifted to the bottom left corner of your background photo on desktop devices. Note: It is still centered on mobile devices.
 
Your headline is now also to the left on desktop, right underneath your profile photo and name.  It’s a clean and simple design, giving any viewer a snapshot of your experience. If you haven’t already done so, check your details and information are up to date.
 
There’s always been a place for your media within your profile, but this year’s updates extended the amount from two to six. You now have the ability to add 6 featured media links or files to show within your summary.

How you distribute your content has had one of the most recent updates, LinkedIn Documents.

LinkedIn documents allows you to upload different file formats in your newsfeed. You can know share content to your audience in a way that we haven’t been able to do before.
 
As we move away from individual profiles, you will notice LinkedIn’s increasing efforts to focus on engagement and communication.
 
Your communication is bigger and better than ever, with the addition of voice messages.
 
Your first-degree connections can now receive voice messages. Saving you the hassle from having to type out a long note.  It can be easily done on the go when you’re in a rush and especially helpful for those of us that are better talking than typing.
 
Another feature aiming to get us connected easier is the ability to link a map in your messages when arranging a meeting.

Your privacy is a longstanding issue when it comes to social media platforms.

LinkedIn has  removed the ability to download the personal email addresses of your connections. This means you won’t find yourself being added to a mailing list without consent. 
 
Your groups experience has also had an update.
 
It’s no wonder with over 2 million groups available on LinkedIn with more than 8,000 new groups created weekly.
 
Half of all LinkedIn members belong to at least one group. It’s LinkedIn Groups’ feature where we start to see the biggest changes.
Group membership is now a vetted process. Group administrators are able to completely view your profile, even if you aren’t connected. This allows administrators to assess how well you might fit into their constructed community.
 
LinkedIn groups is also allowing any and all members to report behavior they deem to be inappropriate. Before this was a privilege only granted to managers, but has now been extended to all. If any group member believes a comment, post or conversation doesn’t meet the guidelines of the Group or LinkedIn itself, they can block and report immediately.
 
Groups are no longer indexed by search engines. This means information posted within a group will not be shareable through Google or any other search engine.  
 
Members can also add images to their posts and directly mention (by tagging) other users in a group. This enables a more personal and customized way of communicating to others in your group. Discussions are now called Conversations.
 
There is a new app standalone app for LinkedIn groups. This allows you to participate in discussions and receive suggestions of new groups.

Last but not least, your company page have had a major update with plenty of integrations aiming to expand their reach.

LinkedIn Business, reported that when referencing LinkedIn Pages, “Companies with complete information get 30% more weekly views”.
 
If your company page hasn’t been updated for a while then now is the time to act. LinkedIn has improved its integration and added a whole of team approach, new media formats and the ability to add your own hashtag.
 
Overall, we have seen LinkedIn make a number of changes across the entirety of its platform in just the past 12 months.
 From my perspective, the changes have been focused on supporting and rewarding those who are committed to developing relationships.