Confused or annoyed by the notifications you’re getting from and on LinkedIn?
The team at LinkedIn hear you, and they’ve been working to improve their notifications flow, as explained in a new post on the LinkedIn Engineering blog.
In the post, LinkedIn’s Changji Shi explains that their mission is to ‘connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful’, and that the notifications they push to users are a big part of this.
“However, repetitive, excessive and low-quality notifications can create a bad experience for members, lead members to file complaints and disable notifications, and make members less likely to use the LinkedIn app. Based on member feedback and dissatisfaction with excessive notifications, we decided to unify all LinkedIn notifications under one platform to optimize for and provide the best experience for our members. This platform became Air Traffic Controller (ATC)—the ultimate decision maker for notifications sent to our members.”
Essentially, LinkedIn’s ATC system decides which notifications to send to each member, and when, based on a range of factors, including local time zones, when the user is most active, how they’ve responded in the past, etc.
ATC also dictates where those notifications are sent – either via e-mail, mobile push notification or within the app itself.
Previously, LinkedIn’s notifications flow was dictated by each department with the company, with no oversight as to who was sending notifications and when. This lead to a poorer user experience, and more complaints. ATC now filters almost every notification coming through, and evaluates a range of factors to ensure better relevance.
Those factors include:
- If member has already interacted (e.g., liked, commented, etc.) with the content on-site
- When a duplicate notification is being processed
- If the content of the notification has expired
- Where a member is being overloaded with notifications (ATC will rate-limit upstream applications to prevent them from accidentally spamming members)
As a result, LinkedIn says they’ve seen significant improvements in their response
“With ATC, we’ve been able to cut member complaints in half and create double digit increases in member engagement site-wide. As ATC continues to grow in scale, we look forward to how we can continue to personalize the notifications sent to members and send professional opportunities in a way that members are best able to leverage them.”
LinkedIn’s notifications have long been an issue for regular users, with various updates and alerts offering limited value, and sometimes, as noted, becoming overwhelming. Improving their system will help LinkedIn boost relevance, and demonstrate its understanding of its users based on how they actually engage with the app.
Of course, you do have a lot of control over the notification you receive already – check out this post on the profile settings you can enable to improve your LinkedIn experience. But not everyone’s going to bother delving into the settings, so improving the workflow for all makes good sense.
You can check out the full explanation of how LinkedIn’s ATC system works here.