LinkedIn Follows Facebook And Twitter Into 'Follow' Model

LinkedIn has been working to make its professional social network, well, more social. With the massive popularity of Facebook, and Twitter, it makes sense for LinkedIn to use some of the feature from these networks in order to make its platform more social. Last fall, Linked integrated with Twitter, allows users to Tweet from its platform and send Tweets from outside clients to LinkedIn with a hashtag. Today, LinkedIn is launching a small yet very familiar feature: the ability to “follow” a company’s profiles.

So now, any LinkedIn user can follow a company on the network, and will receive real-time alerts from the profile in their news and activity stream. It’s very similar in theory to the act of “following” someone on Twitter of becoming a fan of someone on Facebook.

The idea is to help users keep track of company updates, such as job openings, new developments and more, but in real time. You can now click a “follow” button on a company’s profile, and their updates will automatically be added to your stream. You can also choose the volume of and types of updates you receive from these companies.

It’s not surprising that LinkedIn is pushing more social features, as this seems to be a part of a greater strategy. With 65 million members, LinkedIn is steadily growing in terms of users but wants to bring LinkedIn to any sites or platforms that people may use in their professional life. In the past few months, the company has launched a new URL shortener and enhances sharing features, integrated with Microsoft Outlook and opening up the platform’s API.

However, it should be interesting if LinkedIn integrates with Facebook in some way, as it did with Twitter. Weiner told me recently that after the Twitter launch, status updates on the social network have increased significantly. With Facebook’s 400 million plus memebers, it would make sense for LinkedIn to tap into the immense power of Facebook’s social graph.