Did you notice that LinkedIn completely changed their message center this week?
It's a rather drastic change - the new update will affect not only how you've always used the function, but also how you interact with others on LinkedIn moving forward.
If you're familiar with Facebook Messenger, you'll notice a lot of similarities.
First you'll notice on the left side that there's a list of all the people who you've messaged or have messaged you. Rather than individual conversations, you'll see your connections.
Click on a connection and a thread with all of your previous conversations (that haven't been deleted) will show up in the thread. Any previously archived conversations will also be added to the thread. The people are listed in order of which you have had the most recent conversations with.
While it can be handy to see all of your previous communication with a particular individual, it can make communications look less formal/more casual which may or may not be a good thing depending on the individual or situation.
What... LinkedIn has added emoticons?
Especially given that LinkedIn has added emoticons and animated gifs. Personally I don't think this is the right platform for the platform, and I know I certainly won't be using them unless chatting with close friends.
Filtering Your LinkedIn Messages
To filter your LinkedIn messages you can click the down arrow beside All Messages in the top left corner.
You can filter by your:
- Connections (People in your 1st degree network)
- Unread Messages (this can include old unread messages you archived)
- InMail Messages
- Blocked Messages
To start a new conversation with someone, click the blue circle (writing icon) beside All Messagesin the top left.
This will open up a conversation box. Start typing the name of the connection you wish to send a message to. When their name and profile image appear, click them from the choices offered.
You'll want to be careful when typing in your message if you have the "press enter to send" box checked as you will "send" your message to the thread every time you hit the enter key (similar to a text message or that on Facebook).
In many cases when you're sending professional or business related communication to your connections, you'll definitely want to make sure you UNCHECK this box.
You also have several other options to further personalize your message. You can include an image.
You can add an attachment such as a pdf or word file (I like this a lot).
And of course, now you have the ability to use those dreaded emoticons and animated gifs. While I think they offer some of the best I have seen, I would caution their use on this platform.
I would only use them when communicating with someone you know well. Keep in mind that the emoticon sticker will appear as soon as you click it. There is no undo or delete.
You also have several options to choose from in regards to the conversation thread. In the top right corner above the thread you'll see three dots [...] Click on this to open up options that will allow you to Mark as unread, Mute (or Unmute) conversation, Forward conversation or delete conversation.
You can also mark a conversation as unread or delete it by hovering over the person on the left and clicking the dot to the left of their profile image to mark as unread (blue is unread and grey in read). Click the "X" on the right side of the box to delete the message entirely.
Sending Messages To More Than One Person
Before the update to the LinkedIn Message Center, I used to support sending the occasional mass message IF you unchecked box that says "Allow recipients to see each other's names and email addresses". This option is no longer available in the new Message Center. You now have no way to send mass messages without sharing everyone's contact information with everyone else included in the message.
Because of this change, I would recommend not sending out mass messages ever.
The only time it would make sense to send a message to more than one person is if:
- You're introducing your connections to each other or
- All participants are willingly engaged in a conversation.
It's important to note that anytime anyone in the conversation replies, everyone will see it and there's no way to remove yourself from the conversation (although you can mute receiving notifications for the conversation). You can learn more here.
So what do you think of LinkedIn's new message center? Did they take something away that you'll miss or add something you dislike? Share your thoughts on this new format in the comments below.
For additional help, check out LinkedIn's own resources:
This post originally appeared on the Top Dog Social Media blog