LinkedIn Making All Groups Private & Launching Standalone App

The world's largest professional network is making a significant change to its platform that could affect each and every one of you—or those of you who engage in Group discussions, at least.

According to VentureBeat and other news outlets, LinkedIn is making a major change to Groups, where a majority of the discussion and interaction on the social platform occurs. As of October 14, Groups will be private, and only members of a certain Group will be able to see the content within that Group, and contributions to the discussions will only be allowed to be posted via Group members. Adding to the privacy, search engines like Google won't be able to crawl the discussions and content of the Groups, which provides members with another layer of privacy on the social media platform.LinkedIn making Groups private

What this means for Group owners is that they'll need to choose between an Unlisted or Standard Group. I've broken down the difference between the two below:

Unlisted Group

  • Won't appear in LinkedIn's directory listing of Groups
  • Group badges won't display on members' profiles
  • Only Group owners and managers can invite and approve acceptance of new members

Standard Groups

  • Members can invite first-degree LinkedIn connections
  • Members can approve requests to join from these connections

This isn't the only change that LinkedIn is making, though. They're rolling out better filtering of content across Group discussions, with low-quality content being flagged as promotional and sent to a moderation queue—which also means no more Promotions tab. Any post about a job will be automatically moved from the main conversation thread to a Jobs tab, helping to keep content categorized and relevant to members. 

Posts in Groups altogether will go live immediately, with managers and moderators being able to remove content at any time should they feel it's not relevant and even being able to place members in a "moderation penalty box" should too much irrelevant content be posted within a Group. The moderation of the content is really going to help filter out the spammy, self-promoting content that the Groups are currently riddled with.

And when you're trying to speak directly to another group member, you'll now be able to @mention them to get their attention. Additionally, subgroups will become a thing of the past, with them now being converted to Independent Groups.LinkedIn Groups iOS app

In conjunction with making Groups private, LinkedIn is also rolling out a standalone iOS mobile app for Groups that will send push notifications for discussions and conversations, with an Android version coming down the road (check out some screenshots from VentureBeat here). The mobile app will use an algorithm that's aimed at showing you content that matters to you while removing the spammy and irrelevant content that you're probably currently seeing within your Groups.

And perhaps the most important news of all, VentureBeat also reports that LinkedIn has worked to cut down on the amount of emails you receive when you're a member of a Group, which is certainly good news for all of us.

All of these changes sound like LinkedIn is taking its platform in a more progressive, user-friendly direction, yet there's still some controversy among Group moderators who want full control over their Group that's not unlisted, according to Marketing Land. What's your take? Let me know in the comments section or hit me up on Twitter @Pete_Schauer.

All images via Shutterstock

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