LinkedIn’s profile views — where you can get a quick rundown of a person’s current and past professional experience, provided it’s up to date — are some of the most-trafficked pages on the social network, with visitors landing on profile pages both through LinkedIn searches and through external search engines like Google’s (profiles are often the most highly ranked results for individuals, I’ve found).
Now the company is looking to capitalise on that, with a new feature that taps into that traffic as well as users’ general senses of vanity and curiosity: How You Rank will show you how you stack up against other people in your network in terms of profile views.
The stats — a numerical ranking among your contacts, plus a percentage increase or decline over the last 30 days — will appear alongside a few other things: a list of your top-10 most-viewed connections, plus several links to tips on updating your profile, which offer the promise of you improving your own rank — and serve the by-product of actually making LinkedIn generally more accurate.
(Judging by my own list of “most viewed contacts,” though, I think the best thing a person can do is not update his or her LinkedIn profile, but simply achieve remarkable things.)
How You Rank sits alongside Who’s Viewed Your Profile in terms of LinkedIn features. Both give us a peek into just how much data LinkedIn amasses not just about us, but about how its network is used for other people to find out about us. The company today continues to make most of its money through a couple of areas — premium subscriptions and (less so) advertising. Features like How You Rank both attest to LinkedIn’s data insight, but also potentially areas where it might monetise in the future.
Indeed, Who’s Viewed Your Profile is instructive here: as a basic user you have a very limited view of who has been sniffing you out. Pay more, and you find out more.
The stat of How You Rank also recalls another social media service — Klout, which lets users measure and rank their social influence. It’s a site and service that LinkedIn has tapped in the past, for example with its introduction of Endorsements, where contacts can endorse you for specific skills that then get listed on your profile.