LinkedIn’s Mobile Update Telegraphs Its Interest In Endorsement Data

LinkedIn has updated its iPhone app with the ability to create endorsements for your connections right from your smartphone or tablet. The move demonstrates how important LinkedIn feels that this endorsement data is to its growing trove of signals.

The app has also been updated to look more ‘iOS 7-ready’ and has a new on-boarding guide for users that haven’t used the mobile app before. The LinkedIn newsreader app Pulse for iPhone also gets a refresh which adds background downloading and a new look on iOs 7.

But the biggest change is the emphasis on endorsements in the main LinkedIn app, and the additional connective tissue that this adds to its products on all platforms. In a blog post announcing the new ability today, LinkedIn positions endorsements as something that can and should be done on the fly. Previously, these kinds of personal recommendations have only been accessible from the web and were a fairly involved affair. You could draw a fairly clear connection between endorsements and the references you see on a resume. Thorough, in-depth explanations of why someone is good at what they do. screen568x568

Adding them to mobile, along with the language in the release, indicates that LinkedIn wants to ramp up the gathering of these endorsements. Faster, lighter notes about why someone should be considered an expert sounds like a good supplemental source of data that LinkedIn can use to index and recommend workers.

Though endorsements have been around since late last year — and LinkedIn says that over 2B of them have been given to day — adding them to mobile introduces a new dynamic.

In some ways this sounds like what Geeklist has been doing with developers and tech folks for a while. Geeklist allows users to create ‘brag cards’ of achievements and accomplishments that can be summed up in just a couple of sentences. If LinkedIn is able to turn endorsements into this kind of quick-fire card stack that can be flipped through by users and indexed by LinkedIn itself, it might have something interesting on its hands.

Specifically, a source of endorsements that’s more human and parseable. LinkedIn has gained a reputation for being overly complex and dry. A layer of humanity and shareable ‘brag points’ could do something to offset that.

These moves fit in with LinkedIn’s efforts to make online resumes feel more at home on mobile. Messaging services for networking and content are two clear facets of LinkedIn’s current product push, but this seems to dovetail nicely with the shifting perception of LinkedIn as a job search site, rather than a ‘connection’ resource.