Social media is king, and LinkedIn is trying to capitalize on that by replacing “Industries,” which has been around since the very beginning, with “Channels.” This isn’t just an aesthetic change. The Channels feature combines curated content from two sources: selected users who are deemed influential and the most popular posts from news sources on the topic. Unlike the previous “Industries,” Channels is far less specific and more interdisciplinary. Channels also have less of a focus on news and more of a focus on making LinkedIn a learning resource.
For example, Channels will cover topics like “Entrepreneurship and Your Career,” said LinkedIn spokesperson Julie Inouye. These kinds of subjects appeal to a variety of people, not just someone set in a specific industry.
While LinkedIn has always been a social media platform, this will help it grow to meet the demands that business people have for social media in the modern world. Over time, Channels could include sharing multimedia, such as presentations. It also opens the door to a variety of other future additions, such as working with the Pulse news aggregating app that LinkedIn purchased.
Currently, Channels and the corresponding influencers who create content for them are not a direct source of income for LinkedIn, but, as this content creates more value, leading to users spending more time on the site, it could lead to greater profits for LinkedIn via advertising. Facebook and Twitter are moving to encourage users to stay on their site longer; LinkedIn is just following suit.
Channels and LinkedIn Today are just one of many new features rolled out by the site in the last few months. And, in doing so, they’ve been beating their sales targets and earnings estimates. However, their stock has been declining based on evidence that revenue growth is slowing. Hopefully LinkedIn can stick around, thanks to these new features.