LinkedIn has recently introduced an interesting new feature of Following thought leaders on its platform bringing itself closer to other social networks (read Facebook, Twitter).
To start with, LinkedIn has released a list of 150 influential thought leaders whom other users can follow.
How is this different from before?
Prior to the release of this feature, LinkedIn allowed only reciprocal connections, so that to establish a connection both users have to agree.
However, LinkedIn did allow users to follow companies and by following a company users were able to keep a track of latest news, job openings and other information about the company.
Boot now, LinkedIn has taken a leap and is allowing non-reciprocal connections between its users and thought leaders. Users would now be able to follow these thought without the requirement of them following back and thus gaining an insight into their knowledge.
The Blogging Feature
LinkedIn has also given these 150 influencers access to advanced blogging tools from within LinkedIn to share much more than just status updates. Influencers can now write longer posts and include photos, videos and Slideshare presentations in their posts.
Users following these influencers can comment on these posts and engage in a discussion. Check out some of the posts already written by influencers here.
First of all, the very fact that LinkedIn has not rolled out this feature for all users but has selected the elitist of elite crowd of the world to start with makes it a win.
LinkedIn has promised that it would be adding more influencers to this list over time and you can rest assured that only the likes of first 150 would come to this list. This has ensured that users get a clean platform to only follow the best crowd.
LinkedIn must have thought out this feature very well before to ensure that it does not become a combination of Facebook and Twitter and maintains its own exclusivity. LinkedIn has also rolled out a form where users can submit a request to become an influencer.
Secondly, this feature gels well into LinkedIn’s objective of being a strictly professional network.
The only drawback we could find was that users already have other platforms and options available for following these thought leaders/influencers. Users follow them on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc and this might turn into just another avenue to keep track.
So, what do you think of this new LinkedIn feature? Do let us know.