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LinkedIn Just Became a Little More Like Facebook

LinkedIn Just Became a Little More Like Facebook

LinkedIn is attempting to become more like Facebook by encouraging all members to generate a steady stream of shareable articles, a perk once available only to well-known business personalities.

The move, which the company hopes will generate more interest in the site, comes two weeks after LinkedIn disclosed that page views slipped for the second consecutive quarter.

The professional networking site said Wednesday that it will distribute career-related articles written by any users on its “Influencer program,” a blogging platform previously available only to businesspeople who were invited to contribute, including well-known names like former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and billionaire Richard Branson.

By opening the program to everybody, LinkedIn hopes its users will generate a steady stream of shareable content, providing a white-collar twist on how Facebook supplies its users a continuous stream of pictures or links from their friends.

Ryan Roslansky, the company’s head of content, argued that the Influencers program has been successful in boosting LinkedIn’s traffic and user engagement, with each post generating 80 comments and 250 likes.

“It’s starting to bring a lot of people back to the site more frequently,” Roslansky said. “We want to get much more content in front of them and much more niche content about their interests.”

With Influencers now broadened to many more writers, LinkedIn will use algorithms to identify articles that gain traction with readers and distribute those more broadly, Roslansky said.

In recent years LinkedIn has moved away from its roots as a dormant resume library for headhunters and job-seekers, instead positioning itself as a social hub that aggregates news, links and status updates from members.

The company has viewed the transition toward a more lively, Facebook-esque offering as a way to pull in more readers on a regular basis and more advertising revenue. LinkedIn inserts ads into members’ timelines, an advertising model that has been successfully deployed by social media peers Facebook and Twitter.

In April, LinkedIn acquired Pulse, a news reader app, for roughly $90 million to uncover relevant news articles as part of a daily digest to users when they log into the site.

Roslansky said LinkedIn’s new pitch to users is “Give us 15 minutes each morning, and we’ll make you a better professional each day.”

(Reporting by Gerry Shih; editing by Matt Driskill)