You may have noticed a few changes to your LinkedIn page in the course of the past few months.

Some of the changes in layout are more cosmetic than anything, but a few of the adjustments open up some exciting opportunities for users – with a number of other tweaks just around the corner.

Some background to begin with. Late last year, Microsoft completed a multi-billion dollar deal to buy up the networking site – which boasts something like 500 million users worldwide.

Over the years the platform has built up a loyal following among professionals, although critics have suggested it hasn’t always done enough to adapt to wider changes in the social media landscape.

Several months on from its purchase, Microsoft is starting to push through some of the alterations which it believes will improve users’ experience.

For instance, LinkedIn has now been brought back in line with Twitter and Facebook in supporting hashtags. In the past the site has seemed to struggle to work out whether it has wanted to include this feature or not, but the decision to throw its support back behind the tool has been largely welcomed – not least as it makes for a useful way of searching posts.

Bosses have also implemented a new messaging service, not dissimilar from the Facebook Messenger service, and generally updated the layout of both individual profiles and company pages to make them more intuitive.

In terms of what is still to come, LinkedIn is apparently planning to roll out a comprehensive video service – currently only open to a small proportion of its user-base – across the entire site.

Once again there’s a sense that the platform is following the lead of some of its competitors and acknowledging that video content is becoming a pivotal marketing tool.

While the recent changes arguably continue the trend of social media sites becoming less distinctive, this is probably driven by the sense that there are increasingly options that users take for granted and platforms realise they can ill afford to ignore them.

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