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article imageLinkedIn wants your contacts to be more than just names

By Jen C Crompton     Jul 11, 2014 in Business
The new app, LinkedIn Connected, aims to turn contacts into connections and give users what they want on their mobile devices.
Ever wonder what to do with your hundreds of LinkedIn connections? This Thursday, LinkedIn solved that problem.
LinkedIn joined other social networking platforms (such as Facebook), by launching a standalone app that focuses on communicating and has a goal of turning users' hundreds of LinkedIn contacts into more than just names.
The app, LinkedIn Connected, replaces the LinkedIn Contacts app and functions much differently. The Connected app highlights the updates of the people within users' networks — work anniversaries, job changes, news mentions, etc. — through scrollable "cards." With a quick swipe, users can easily view the cards, which feature profile updates from those within the network who have news to share, and users can post personal responses (such as, "Congratulations!") on the updates in just two taps.
Note: The updates shown are ranked in importance based on the LinkedIn algorithm that is working behind-the-scenes to deliver what they deem to be the most relevant.
By isolating these updates in the app (and through push notifications when enabled), users will be able to keep tabs on their colleagues within their professional networks and quickly interact.
On the company blog, LinkedIn's David Brubacher, Head of Relationships Products, Mobile and Desktop, wrote that this new app makes sense because LinkedIn knows, "...relationships matter to you because in an average week there are more than nine million comments, likes and congratulations posted across LinkedIn for updates like job changes, birthdays, being mentioned in the news and work anniversaries."
So LinkedIn focused specifically on those events and decided to bring them directly to users without interruption.
While the app doesn't have too many additional capabilities beyond being a digital rolodex with personal news, it may serve a useful purpose as you cautiously walk into a meeting without knowing too much about your counterpart (because hey, maybe you forgot to do a Google search before you left the office - it does happen).
By syncing a user's calendar with Connected, a user can pull up meeting details and find the profile of the LinkedIn users who will be in attendance. Users can quickly scroll through the profiles, memorizes faces and titles, and walk into a meeting better informed. There, professional stalking made easy.
Overall, LinkedIn has noticed a more than 40 percent user rate via mobile devices. Therefore, the company is capitalizing on that reach and refocusing efforts to optimize their presence on mobile devices. LinkedIn Connected app is a step in the mobile direction and will give users easier access to do what they want, when and how they want to do it.
As of now, the Connected app is only available for iOS, but LinkedIn has plans to make it available on the Android platform.
Jen Cohen Crompton is a marketer, writer, and blogger - and loves everything that's innovative and related to tech, marketing, customer experience, data, sports, and analytics. Find her on Twitter @JenCoCrompton
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