LinkedIn has added some new options which will make it easier for users to plan in-person meet-ups without having to switch away from its messaging stream.
As explained by LinkedIn:
"Many of you have shared that you often coordinate meetings with the people you chat with in LinkedIn Messenger. We know that scheduling can often be a pain - you have to switch back and forth between apps to check your calendar, copy and paste multiple time slots, and then coordinate with the other person. So we set out to streamline this process. You can now share your availability directly within a conversation you’re having in the LinkedIn app."
As you can see in the above example flow, by tapping on the new 'Availability' option within the message composer stream, you can now access your calendar, and then select the open time slots you’d like to propose. LinkedIn also notes that, soon, you'll also be able to check and see whether your proposed time works, and send a confirmation.
LinkedIn's new process utilizes a calendar day view system developed just for this purpose. This will enable users to reference their existing calendar systems on their device via LinkedIn, so you won't need to build a whole new LinkedIn calendar just to facilitate this process.
And once you do find an ideal time, you can also use LinkedIn's 'Location' option within messaging to propose a place to meet, further simplifying real-world connection.
Messaging on LinkedIn has been rising in usage, with the company last year reporting a 60% increase in messages sent on the platform, year-on-year. Catering to this, LinkedIn has added in a range of messaging tools, including expanded message composition, the ability to add different attachment types and a GIF library to spice up your interactions.
But seeing this new function, it did remind me of another LinkedIn feature which never seems to have seen the light of day.
Back in 2016, LinkedIn briefly showcased a coming @inbot system which would enable users to automatically schedule meetings by asking Inbot to search their Google Calendar and provide an adequate time.
This was at the peak of Facebook's bot push, having just launched its bot platform for Messenger, but seeing as bots never really seemed to gain a heap of traction, it appears that LinkedIn has also shelved its automated bot plan. Which makes sense, but it would have been another handy addition along the same lines.
But you don't need robots to do it all for you - this new process is essentially the same, but it gives you the option to choose a relevant time.
Use it as a stance against the gradual automation of all things - robots will never replace humans, because look, you can choose your own proposed meeting blocks. No robot can tell you what to do.