LinkedIn Activity Broadcasts. LinkedIn has a single, global setting (under Privacy and Settings/Profile) for managing your activity broadcasts. This setting enables you to “let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies.” It’s all or nothing, which means you can’t control broadcasting profile changes separately from the recommendations you make and/or the companies you follow.
You can also change this setting when you’re updating your profile, via a toggle switch in the right-hand column of the page. Having the switch here offers a convenient reminder of your default settings and provides more flexibility and control over when your profile changes are shared with others. Unfortunately, it’s not at all clear that flipping the switch means that you’re changing the default setting rather than making a session-specific choice. If you don’t want to change your default setting, you have to flip the switch back after publishing your updated profile.
Another problem with the activity broadcast setting is its limited scope. It doesn’t include things like updates you share via the home page, posts you publish, items you post to groups (which you can presumably control via group settings, but I couldn’t figure it out), and likes and comments. From what I can tell, any activity for which there is no specific setting is automatically broadcast with a default setting of “everyone.”
The only other activity you seem to be able to control is notifications when you join groups (under Privacy and Settings/Groups, Companies & Applications). This is another global switch that enables you to determine whether LinkedIn should “publish an update to [your] network whenever [you] join a group that has these notifications enabled by the group owner.” You cannot easily make the broadcasting choice each time you join a group.
LinkedIn resource: Showing or Hiding Activity Updates About You
Recent LinkedIn Activity. Until the end of 2013, your LinkedIn profile included an Activity section (between the thumbnail information card and your summary) that listed your most recent activity and provided a dropdown to see more. That section is now gone, much to many people’s chagrin (see this article for more). Now people have to click on the drop down arrow next to the Endorse or Send Inmail button on your profile page (depending on their connection to you) and click on View recent activity. Unfortunately, this shows all your latest activity, including group posts, comments and. So instead of featuring certain activities and items you might want to highlight in connection with your LinkedIn identity, visitors see a decontextualized set of actions that likely provides more noise than signal (particularly if you’re active on the platform).
You can control who sees that activity – sort of. Under Privacy and Settings/Profile you can determine who can see your activity feed. The options are everyone, your network, your connections or only you. You cannot, however, make selections based on the type of activity you engage in (e.g., updates, blog posts, group shares, comments, likes). As with everything else, it’s probably best to assume it’s all treated as public and broadcast on other people’s home page feeds since the setting specifically refers to “your activity feed” and not “your activity.”
Finally, when you post an update via the home page, you can indicate whether that update should be shared with everyone or your connections only, but it’s unclear whether the choice also impacts your activity feed. I suspect the global setting overrides whatever choice you make for a specific post, so even it doesn’t show up on the home page it may still be included in your activity feed.
LinkedIn resource: Viewing Recent Activity
- Turn the default activity broadcast setting to “off.” When you make a change to your profile you want broadcast, flip the switch back to “on” right before you’re ready to publish your updated profile. Then immediately go into Privacy and Settings and turn it back off again.
- Change who can see your activity feed based on your objectives for using LinkedIn and your personal preferences. If you have a public-facing role and/or are on the job market, I would recommend choosing everyone or your network; otherwise, your connections is fine. I don’t really see the point of choosing only you (except perhaps temporarily).
- Change who can see what groups you join based on your objectives for using LinkedIn and your personal preferences. If you display groups on your LI profile you probably want to set this to on; otherwise, set it to off (which is my preference).
- Periodically check your recent activity and delete specific items you don’t want listed. For example, if you share the same item with multiple groups, you probably want to delete all but one of the shares. You may also want to delete likes and comments that aren’t particularly useful. If your LinkedIn activity is high, it’s probably a good idea to do this clean up weekly. If not, monthly may be sufficient. Note: the LinkedIn help item below suggests conducting the view via the home page, but that may not include all your activity. I think it’s better to access the activity feed on your profile page by clicking on the arrow next to the Edit button and selecting View recent activity. When you hover over each item, a Delete option should appear in the top right corner.