Episode 93. Review of The New LinkedIn App….or Crap?
- The new mobile seems to be getting decent reviews but these are from people who rarely use LinkedIn and are therefore not able to see it’s faults and real strengths.
- LinkedIn recruit 100 new people in Dublin and manage to persuade the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to attend an event at their offices by persuading his office that Dublin was LinkedIn’s ‘worldwide headquarters!
LinkedIn new iOS mobile app review
First impressions of the app are really good, the design is more modern and the navigation looks more intuitive.
The app is split into five sections.
Here you will see status updates and publish posts from your connections and those you follow as well as sponsored updates.
Unfortunately you cannot change from the algorithm driven order to ‘recent’ updates as you can on the desktop version.
This means that you see updates from 15 days ago, then one from 3 minutes ago followed by one posted 20 minutes ago. The order is supposed to be tailored to your needs and interest and I guess we will be able to train the algorithm to be more accurate through our actions but as things stand, my updates were pretty poor. The app updates are also completely different to the order of the desktop ones.
I noticed that every time I opened the app the second update I saw was always a sponsored advert. This is a significant increase over the amount of advertising we saw in the previous app.
At the top of the homepage you can see links to share a status update or a photo, As with the desktop version the share option also allows you to add an image therefore making it pretty much the same thing!
‘Image updates are broken’
I found it’s extremely difficult to successfully post an image update. When tapping on ‘photo’ and selecting an image from my phone (taken with the phones camera) the app just hung for along time before it eventually informing me that the upload was unsuccessful.
I did eventually managed to post a more simple image via ‘share’ but not before posting the same update five times!
I made this short video showing exactly what the problem was:
In the top right corner of the home page you can see 9 dots in a square, tap on this to reveal the ‘other apps’ feature which allows you to seamlessly open LinkedIn’s other apps.
Note how the Connected app is missing from the list. Could this be an indication that Connected and it’s desktop cousin ‘Contacts’ are soon to be retired? It wouldn’t surprise me.
The Sales Navigator and Recruiter apps are also missing but this may be because they are premium accounts.
LinkedIn’s strategy has always been to produce multiple apps covering specific areas rather then have one app try to do everything and this feature nicely brings it altogether, this works well with iOS 9 which allows an easy return to the last app used.
On a more positive note they have corrected the issue that meant you could only @mention people by their full name.
I always thought it was very odd to refer to someone you know in an update – your own or commenting on theirs by their full name such as
“You make a good point Teddy Burris”
As opposed to the more natural
“You make a good point Teddy”
It’s these apparently small details that make all the difference, especially when they involve communication.
You have always been able to do this on desktop, now you can on mobile.
My final observation is also a positive one in that you can hide updates from people who post irrelevant things in your stream (quizzes, irrelevant images and posts in a foreign language).
Simply click on the three small dots on the top right of the update;
This then reveals three options as shown below;
This is the section that Jeff Weiner seemed most excited about and I can see why. It’s a huge improvement for me (excuse the pun!).
Firstly we see all our notifications in a stream, for me this is a critical feature. Keeping on top of all engagement opportunities is what LinkedIn should be all about and it’s especially relevant when you are ‘on the move’.
I did find the notifications a bit slow in comparison to desktop but I really like the fact that we can see when the event happened (ie 30 mins ago as seen above).
If you tap on the profile views you will see the following screen;
The graph at the top is mildly interesting in that you can see your trajectory but tapping on it does nothing so it is merely a basic visual aid.
I love the fact that you can see exactly when somebody visited your profile, down to the minute!
It is also really useful feature to see who somebody could potentially introduce you to – see Kate Lister below;
Tapping through to a profile of someone you’re not connected to gives you the option to either send them an InMail, Connect or follow, as well as being able to read their full profile.
This video shows how you can edit your profile from within the app, I think I would always want to make any changes on the desktop but for this who only use the app, this is a very nice feature.
You may need to edit your profile because the new app only shows the first 68 characters of your headline and the first 62 characters of your summary. I have always advised putting an email address in your first line of your summary because email addresses became live links in the old mobile app, alas the new version no longer supports this. That said it’s still worth putting your contact details in the first line of your summary.
“emails are no longer ‘active’ links”
One big issue is that they have removed the ability to customise your invitation to connect (previously done from the 3 dots – top right).
The good news is that LinkedIn have confirmed that this feature will soon be returning.
You also can’t access someone’s contact information anymore, to do this you would need to open the separate ‘Connected’ app (not linked in ‘more apps’) although LinkedIn have indicated that they are also working on a solution to this.
Finally you can no longer browse a connections connections, you can see mutual connections although only 20 of them (which ones seems to be random!). This has to be a mistake, discovering who a connection can introduce you to is a critical function. No word from LinkedIn on whether they intend to fix this one.
In the Me page you can also access your settings……settings? I hear you ask! Yes you can now actually amend your main settings from the mobile app. Privacy settings, password, email addresses etc.
This must be really helpful to those users who exclusively use their phone to use LinkedIn as these settings could traditionally only be managed on desktop.
One of the main settings allows you to sync your calendar, the idea being that you can be notified when you are scheduled to meet with someone who is on LinkedIn – assuming the calendar invite has been sent by email.
This may also explain the mystery setting in push notifications highlighted above, I have not been able to test this out as yet but that is my best guess at what this refers to.
Much has been written about the new desktop messaging app, some love it and many hate it…I’m personally a fan and the mobile version is pretty much the same apart from the extra option to take a picture (or add from camera roll) and send it. Also the gifs available on the desktop version are not in the app (no great loss there then!)
Probably the most modern and ‘funky’ looking page with its ‘cards’ on display.
This video explains all you need to know.
The cards are OK but I would not advise dealing with invitations by cards, instead tap on the invitations section (top left) and then you will be able to see any customised messages.
The final section is where you can search for anything – Groups, companies, showcase pages, universities and schools and anyone on LinkedIn and it’s REALLY fast!
In addition your history of searches (including desktop) show here, which is a fantastic feature.
I have heard nothing but negative feedback from LinkedIn users so far and the only positive reviews I have seen have clearly been written by journalists who still think LinkedIn is a jobs/careers site!
My balanced view is that LinkedIn have undertaken a massive task in rebuilding this app and it is the nearest they have ever got to producing a really good and useful app…..
…but they are not there yet!
It feels to me that they just don’t have the right quality control in place to ensure that products are not released until they are very close to perfect.
The weird and ineffective status updates algorithm needs work and it really was unforgivable to forget to add customized invites, especially as they made a point to add them onto the last app due to popular demand.
All that said I’m a fan, the problems will be ironed out soon I’m sure and dare I say it….I think we really have a world class app at last!
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