LinkedIn is probably the first platform that comes to mind when it comes to business networking.
Hardly a surprise when everybody you know (and their bosses) is on LinkedIn. As of June 2021, LinkedIn had a whopping 756 million registered members from 200 countries and territories! That’s massive. That’s an indicator of success.
Yet, despite those impressive figures, I feel LinkedIn isn’t going to be as huge a success as it is today.
Here’s why I think so:
Countless meaningless connections
There’s a saying that’s been doing the rounds in business circles for quite some time now: ‘Your network is your net worth’. While that might be true, do the people on your LinkedIn network really count as your network?
Consider the other social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, or even YouTube. You know that the people who follow you have a genuine interest in what you have to say.
You follow people you truly care about, you follow them because you are interested in what they have to say or offer. What that also means is that most of your ‘feed’ on all these social media channels shows you something you are interested in. There are discussions, comment sections you are interested in, and content you love consuming.
In comparison, most of our LinkedIn network comprises people we hardly know or talk to (or ever will). Most of your LinkedIn feed is content you have little to no interest in (most of your network is random and so is your feed). There’s no real ‘connection’ happening. You might be someone who has amassed a huge following on LinkedIn, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the majority of your followers are actually interested in what you have to say.
Lack of features for business networking
While LinkedIn has created a platform for business networking, it has seldom nudged you in a way that makes you want to network. The social media giant has hardly taken any step to encourage the culture of genuinely making business connections online.
Despite sitting on top of so many memberships, there is little to no effort from LinkedIn to get the memberships activated.
There was a void that LinkedIn filled and there was a lot of adoption. But that’s it. There hasn’t been any innovation or any significant effort to serve the purpose it was created for.
While most of the other social media channels keep introducing new features and even nudge users to adopt them, there hasn’t been any such initiative from LinkedIn. On the contrary, LinkedIn usually updates features borrowed from other social media platforms, that too when all other platforms have activated those features months ago.
LinkedIn might be a part of the ‘cool kids’ club, but mostly because it was the first to capitalize on a good idea.
Even the offerings LinkedIn has: the Sales Navigator, Dux-Soup, or any other tool for that matter, are not what you’d call world-class products. All their tools can be much, much better. With the majority of the world’s demographic working jobs, searching for work and looking for their next best candidate, LinkedIn could have been the hottest, most useful platform on the planet.
But that’s not quite the case.
Lack of initiative
If you think about it, LinkedIn has always been behind its competitors when it comes to styling and improving user experience. LinkedIn took a long time to improve its mobile app (which was terrible initially), it took a long time to improve its web app. They have been behind the curve in terms of making new releases and new UI features, and new features are seldom introduced.
Can you think of a single time when LinkedIn launched a new feature that really piqued your interest? I can’t.
If you think of a nice collection of business articles, Medium is already sitting on that throne quite comfortably, with no apparent threat from LinkedIn. It could have been the publishing platform for people to discover new articles. It would have given users reasons to stay on the platform and participate more.
But LinkedIn didn’t quite catch that train either.
What are your thoughts on LinkedIn?