LinkedIn, the business-focused social network that sometimes gets lost in the shadow of Facebook and Twitter, has just launched a new feature many will find familiar -- the ability to follow a company.
Think of it as LI's version of a Fan Page, but using the operative term "follow," borrowed from Twitter.
Personally, I love the idea. I've longed for LinkedIn to build out its social networking features. If it could function exactly like Facebook and Twitter combined, that would be fine by me. It would sure make explaining how B2B companies can make use of social networking a heck of a lot easier.
There is one key difference between the LI version and Facebook Fan Pages, these are private. You have to be logged in to see them, so says Techcrunch.
This post from LinkedIn's blog explains how it all works, so I won't try to replicate the steps.
What does following allow you to do?"'Follow Company' helps you be among the first to learn about developments at companies...find job openings...or stumble upon business development opportunities," says the post. "The new feature lets you tap into key goings-on at nearly a million companies that already have their company profiles on LinkedIn and more that are being created every day."
Techcrunch indicates LinkedIn has plans to "wiki-fy" these company profile pages in the coming months, which will allow employees to edit them.
Many people already benefit from using LinkedIn for recruiting, business development and networking. Many more consider it a bit stodgy and boring, lacking the interactivity and life of its competitors. In my view, the more LI can function like the others, the better off it will be, and the more I will like it.
(Speaking of acting like the other networks, the other day LinkedIn launched its own URL shortener.)
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