One of the biggest complaints about LinkedIn in recent times has been the gradual 'Facebook-ification' of the LinkedIn feed.
You've no doubt noticed this yourself - more and more people are posting less professional content on LinkedIn, like updates about their personal lives, political debate, photos of their holidays, etc. Some believe this is fine, that people should be able to post whatever they want - it is, after all, a 'social' network, where people go to interact. But others feel that LinkedIn should remain true to its core vision of connecting professionals, and therefore, users should keep the conversations on the platform more professionally-aligned.
But however you personally feel about this shift, you can actually control your own LinkedIn experience - something that LinkedIn has sought to provide clarity on by highlighting their latest features to help you improve and align your LinkedIn news feed to your individual preferences.
As explained by Jeff Birkeland, the Director of Product at LinkedIn:
"Ultimately, you control your LinkedIn Feed. Our goal is to continue to add and improve on tools that empower you to tell us what you want to see. That's why we've rolled out a number of features to give you more power to control the content in your feed."
Here's how to do it.
1. "Improve my Feed"
Back in October, LinkedIn added a new feature to their mobile app called 'Improve my feed', which provides an easy option for users to quickly update their preferences to better attune the content displayed to them.
As you can see in the below sequence, with 'Improve my feed', you can select relevant industry leaders, publications and companies to follow which better align with your personal preferences.
The addition wasn't highly publicized at the time, but LinkedIn's working to raise awareness of the update, a new way to better align and improve your feed which will also help LinkedIn's systems develop a better understanding of your personal preferences.
Worth noting too that 'Improve my feed' is currently only available on mobile, but any changes you make in the app will also be reflected in your desktop experience.
2. Hide posts
When it comes to those more personally annoying updates, however, you need to take a different course of action.
The easiest way to eliminate such content from your view is to simply hide the offending post - LinkedIn outlines exactly how to do this on the platform in this video:
It's a little surprising that LinkedIn felt the need to post a video on how to do this, but they don't do so for no reason, there must have been enough user confusion to justify them clarifying the process.
Either way, the ability to hide posts is available on every major platform and is an easy, quick-fix way to clean up your feed.
3. Unfollow people and companies
And the last point LinkedIn highlights is that users always have the ability to completely eliminate any other users' content from their feed entirely by unfollowing.
I've actually been surprised at how many people aren't aware of this - just as you can on Facebook, you can unfollow a LinkedIn connection and still remain connected to them. They won't get a notification that you unfollowed, so the impact on your relationship is minimized. You just turn them off, and they're gone - just like that.
If you want to take more drastic action, you can, of course, disconnect from any user too, but unfollow is a less confronting, more passive means of tuning them out without losing the connection.
One criticism I do have of LinkedIn in this regard is that you can't unfollow updates from people you aren't directly connected to. For example, if I go into the post options on Facebook, I can elect to unfollow the person I'm connected to (why I'm seeing the post) but I can also unfollow the original poster.
This is handy because there are some extended connections who post stuff you might not be interested in, but you don't necessarily want to unfollow your connection for the sake of their posts.
On LinkedIn, this is not an option - so there might be some person whose opinions you disagree with who you don't want to see, but you'll keep seeing their updates anytime a connection of yours comments or otherwise engages with their posts.
It's a minor gripe, but it would give users more control and enable them to avoid posts they have no interest in.
As noted, these tools are not necessarily new, but LinkedIn's trying to help users refine their feeds in order to deliver them more relevant content recommendations - which will also, in turn, help LinkedIn refine their ad targeting. LinkedIn's also, no doubt, responding to the growing noise about personal posts on the platform - the bottom line here is that you can eliminate them from your view. If you don't like what you're seeing, you can control it.
Most platforms have these controls, and LinkedIn is no different. Like He-Man, you have the power.