“Professional” social network LinkedIn is announcing another new change to its design, one that it hopes will entice more people to sign up for its paid, premium tiers and get everyone to linger a bit longer on the site: it’s updating profiles for Premium users, with bigger pictures, additional features to be more easily found and contacted and expanded data on how people are viewing you.
In all, the changes give LinkedIn premium profiles a look quite similar to, yes, the big daddy of all social networks: Facebook. They are part of the same trend that has seen Twitter also update user profile pages earlier this year with more visual, and less text-heavy layouts.
LinkedIn says the rollout is starting today to all English-speaking regions, on desktop only. A mobile version, a spokesperson says, is coming soon.
We may say it looks like Facebook, but LinkedIn says it’s simply about making a better connection: the changes will help premium users stand out more in search results as well as reflect a “more personal feel,” according to the company.
In that regard, it’s part of a wider move at the company to expand the content that people consume and create on the site. That’s also been reflected in the way that LinkedIn has updated its news feed and lets users follow specific members and companies for a personal stream of new information on their LinkedIn home page.
They also include profile optimization by use of suggested keywords — basically a kind of SEO-lite for those looking to boost their name in search results — and a more open profile that allows anyone on the platform to contact you, not just those you are linked to — although I’m not sure that everyone actually wants that kind of unsolicited contact on LinkedIn. It is also giving users a full 90 day list of who’s viewed your profile, and more insight into how you stack up against others in terms of those views.
LinkedIn is also offering a new subscription service called Premium Spotlight, priced at $9.99 per month. This will be their lowest service offered and is intended to give users not already on the premium level a way to stand out more in search if they are looking for a new job, connections or networking opportunities, the company says. It will include a few extras that have already been available to premium users, such as a 90-day backlist of people who have viewed your profile.
This is about LinkedIn looking for ways to upwell upsell users from free to paid tiers. “It is meant to be a starter package for members looking to get their foot in the door by enhancing their own professional brand through features that focus on helping them to standout and get found,” the company says. All current premium members, without any additional charge, will also now have access to the features announced today.
Indeed, on a pure business level, LinkedIn has a lot of room for growth in premium subscriptions, which accounted for a little over one-fifth of revenues in the last quarter.
While the new Profile look will be available only to premium users, all members will eventually get a version of a new profile that will let them use bigger pictures in the backgrounds of their profiles. Those wishing to be first can do so by requesting access here.