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October 17, 2012

LinkedIn Redesigns User Profiles, Adds Mobile Service

By Colleen Lynch, TMCnet Contributor

LinkedIn (News - Alert) announced on Tuesday the company’s plans for a major redesign of its professional networking website, which will include significant updates to user profiles. This comes as one in a series of changes LinkedIn has made to the website recently, all seemingly aimed at encouraging more social interaction between users.

The updated profiles will sport a larger profile picture, new formatting for the contacts and interests displays, and streamlined fonts.

These changes mark a big step for LinkedIn, as the site is only 10 years old and has operated on much the same design since its creation.

LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner explained that the redesigned elements of the website will help users update their profile information, and make searching on the service easier.

It may seem surprising that LinkedIn should be so concerned with encouraging more frequent use of its site, as the company has surpassed its initial earnings forecasts, and reportedly expects to see $915 to $925 million in revenue by the end of this year.

Those numbers suggest LinkedIn is a popular and widely-used service – but of course, as it is with all social networking sites, the only way to go is up.

With that in mind, LinkedIn has repeatedly worked to make innovative changes to its service in recent months, some of which include the introduction of a paid program to identify sales leads, personalized news updates, and the ability to follow posts from professional bigwigs, a lá Twitter (News - Alert).

The company has also shifted its attention to the obvious next frontier for such services: the mobile world. LinkedIn’s mobile product manager Joff Redfern cited comments from various users stating their preference for smartphone apps when using networking sites, and the company responded immediately.

Now, more than 23 percent of LinkedIn’s 175 million members are accessing the site on smartphones or tablets – a whopping 10-percent increase from just last year.

The trend makes perfect sense, as business-savvy users find it easier to search for jobs while on the go or at work.

Another common concern was sending the wrong message to the user’s current bosses; checking LinkedIn from your desk computer everyday for new job opportunities is most likely frowned upon by the majority of companies.

Edited by Braden Becker
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