Earlier this year, LinkedIn dropped a bombshell. The business and employment-oriented social network finally ditched its bare bones utilitarian design (which it has been using for years) and exchanged in its place a new revamped look that is "trendier" and more reminiscent of other popular social platforms like Facebook.
Some hated the new look, some loved it. In case you haven't been keeping tabs on all of the changes that were implemented, here are the major ones:
1. Search Features
People decried how the Search feature for the new LinkedIn seems to feel a lot less robust than the previous one. This is especially true in the free version of the LinkedIn interface. For one, you can no longer filter out searches by first or last name, title, location, or keyword. All advanced search options are gone.
Free users also don't get to enjoy saved searches and tagging anymore. If you want to use these advanced services again, you need to upgrade to the Sales Solutions' (what the premium version of LinkedIn is now called) Sales Navigator tool. However, LinkedIn is offering a very generous three-month trial offer for the upgrade that would allow users to access its tools for free.
Despite stripping down the functionality of Search, LinkedIn users can still filter out based on group, school, and companies affiliations; general location; industries; profile languages; and jobs. Boolean search is still usable, though some report that it is not as effective as before.
2. Home Page
While the LinkedIn timeline/newsfeed still remains relatively unchanged, the home page is now sporting a new cleaner and more streamlined look.
The first thing you'll notice is that the menu bar is now thinner and teal-colored, with most of its icons directly lifted from the official LinkedIn mobile app. This was presumably done so that there's a stronger degree of consistency between the desktop version of the site and its mobile counterpart.
Aside from the menu bar icons, the website also added in a Profile section on the left-hand side of the homepage that looks pretty similar to the Me section in the mobile app. The Profile contains your picture, headline, number of profile views, and recent article views.
There's a content sharing section in the middle of the homepage. From there, you can share updates, links, and photos. You can even publish articles of your own ala-LinkedIn Publisher.
3. My Network
My Network has been spiffied and cleaned up. Here, you can message your contacts, add people you may know, as well as accept and remove invitations. While it has been streamlined, your options for your contacts are now limited. As with the Search feature, LinkedIn has removed all sorting and filtering functionality so that you can only search through your connections by first and last name, and through "Recently Added."
4. Me Section
One of the most interesting changes in the new LinkedIn has been the addition of the Me section. It has been around on the mobile app for a while now, but seeing it on desktop is another experience altogether. It replaced the old Profile section.
Profile photos are now circular and is placed right at the center of your intro. When someone views your LinkedIn profile, your contact information and links will be displayed to the right side of it. Web links aren't customizable though. They will be shown as full URLs, though you can add in a description (displayed inside a parantheses) right next to them.
Right under the Me section and intro, you'll be able to see who's recently visited your profile and your articles. Beneath those, you can see recommendations, which you can use to boost and strengthen your profile. LinkedIn may also recommend adding in more sections like experience, education, and others to fully customize your profile.
A new section has been added called Accomplishments. Here is where you can display the projects you've done, courses you've taken, publications written, certifications, patents, awards, and other things which you would like to show off. It's important to note that LinkedIn has now partnered with Lynda.com to create LinkedIn learning, which is a distance education platform of some sort. Courses that you've successfully finished in LinkedIN learning will automatically be displayed in the Accomplishments section.
Another great thing about this new Me section: LinkedIn just made it a lot easier to edit the information on your profile. Just click on the pen icon, and voila! You can now make changes to your first and last name, current company, position, education, location, and professional headline. You can also edit your Summary section too as well as any media that you want to display on it (it's important to note that only the first two lines of the Summary will be displayed when people view your profile, so make it count!). You can also add in a new section from the right sidebar or by just directly clicking on your profile.
There is now a dedicated space for notifications. Just click on the ring icon on the menu bar, and you'll be able to see new published articles from people in your network, promotions, birthdays, work anniversaries, and other such events of note. Notifications for people who have added you, followed your profile, engaged with your articles, gave you endorsements, will also pop up here.
6. More Options
In a surprising move, LinkedIn actually backtracked on the Interests section and reverted it back to More. Here is where you can find all of LinkedIn's extra features. More can be accessed by clicking the grid like icon on the menu bar. This is where you can post a job, create a company page, access the aforementioned LinkedIn Learning platform, go to Groups, and access LinkedIn services like ProFinder, SlideShare, and Lookup. If you want to upgrade to LinkedIn Talent Solutions or Sales Solution (LinkedIn's premium paid versions), this is also the place to do it.
While some features have been stripped, it seems like LinkedIn really does want its users to have a more cohesive experience on both its mobile app and desktop platforms. The changes might be jarring to some, but it really does make for an easier and more intuitive browsing experience, especially for online marketers.