Buggy LinkedIn Groups Update Removes Features, Leaves Users Distressed

For some reason “Groups” – a pretty standard feature in most social networks – seems to be giving LinkedIn more than a little bit of trouble. The site originally launched Groups without a search function, making it difficult to find groups that users were interested in. Last month, the site finally introduced a groups directory, but apparently the response has been too positive, leading LinkedIn to place restrictions on user accounts: the site has arbitrarily limited the number of groups each member can join to 50, and is doing users the courtesy of automatically dropping them from the most recent groups they’ve joined should they go over that limit.

Then, last week, LinkedIn introduced a new “update” that was supposed to enhance its Groups section. Unfortunately, as part of the update, the site has either purposely or accidentally removed a significant portion of its Groups functionality, leaving a number of group leaders distressed as they have difficulty managing their users.

One GetSatisfaction thread by user LinkedOut lists the following:

-LinkedIn just changed (translation: “broke”) many things about LinkedIn Groups
-There is no longer a way to click over to a group’s external website from the list of your groups.
-There is no longer a way for group managers to sort the list of group members by name or by date joined.
-There is no longer the management option to view/approve 50, 100, or 500 members at a time – now there is just a default view of 20 per page and no matter how many members the group actually has, a group manager/owner can now only see a management list with a maximum of 100 members?!?!??!?!?!
-There is no longer a way to search your member list by email address?!
-There is no longer a way to see the members the manager had previously removed from the group (and thus to have the ability to add them back as appropriate).
-There is no longer a way to see which group members withdrew from the group.

The thread has garnered 83 replies, mostly from users with additional complaints. A LinkedIn employee has responded to the thread, explaining that most of the bugs will be fixed in the next few weeks. It’s nice to see that the employees are concerned, but how did such a buggy release ever make it out the door in the first place?