LinkedIn recently introduced their new Storylines feature parallel to the LinkedIn feed. StoryLines are “curated interest-based feeds that surface developing stories to help you discover and discuss news, ideas, and diverse perspectives from the largest group of professionals, publishers and editorial voices ever assembled.”
Articles are based upon information LinkedIn has about each reader such as their industry. StoryLines are intended to combine industry expertise with individual network commentary. A unique hashtag makes “it easy for you to join the conversation and add your own take on the issue.”
LinkedIn emphasized that StoryLines promotes a diversity of opinions and sources. “Each story includes multiple perspectives, ranging from news publishers and influencers, to people in your network, so that you can easily weigh up diverse opinions”
StoryLines are curated via a combination of editorial curation and algorithmic filters. When stories break, an editor writes a summary and identifies diverse sources. An algorithm then adds additional member commentary. This approach ensures a multiplicity of views that pull members out of “filter bubbles” which would otherwise reinforce current views and biases. Topics will be business related
“I don’t want just one point of view”
- LinkedIn VP of Product Tomer Cohen
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn believes it can avoid the problems of “fake news.” Inaccurate content that is intentionally deceptive, including fake news, is not acceptable on our site,” said VP of Product Tomer Cohen. “Our combination of algorithms and editors creates an experience where trending news is validated by editorial to ensure that it is professional and comes from trusted sources.”
Cohen added, “The content members write and share on LinkedIn becomes part of their professional identity — it can be seen by their boss, colleagues, and potential business partners. Promoting fake news can damage your reputation, and there is no hiding behind anonymity on LinkedIn.”
Other features include related stories and follow options for topical experts.
The new feature is being rolled out to US members and then will expand internationally.
LinkedIn mobile also added feed personalization tools which will soon be available via desktop. Amongst the filters are options to follow companies, industry leaders, and publications. Users can also hide posts, and unfollow people and companies. Unfollowing people allows users to retain connections without seeing the connections posts.
LinkedIn has struggled to customize their feed for users, but StoryLines sounds like a smart innovation. By creating a curated trending topic category and placing it to the right of the feed, they can provide relevant content and discussions without it overwhelming the user feed. Furthermore, by curating a set of diverse viewpoints, members are provided with a broader set of perspectives.
Since the beginning of the year, I have noticed an improvement in LinkedIn’s feed. Gone are the eye candy stories from Business Insider covering bots and bikes. Also, there are fewer viral stories about enterprising individuals overcoming hardship. Instead, they have done a better job of surfacing posts from my connections and articles in my field.
The launch of Sales Navigator Enterprise (covered last week) was another indicator that they are focusing more on the Professional side of Professional Social Networking.