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LinkedIn is adding ‘Creator Mode’ to help more of its users make influences



LinkedIn, the professional networking site, invites users to what they call “creator mode,” a setting designed to encourage users to post more of their own original content, perhaps with a view to becoming influencers, or in corporate speech, thought leaders.

One of a number of new features, creator mode changes the presentation of profiles to emphasize the topics that users discuss most on the platform. Once creator mode is selected, a user can post hashtags about their interests, which are displayed below the job title at the top of the profile. Essentially, creator mode moves up the “Activity and Selected” sections, which highlight posts and links that a user shares, so that they appear before the biobox called “About”

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Creator Mode, which rolls out this week, will also allow people to “follow” others using the new setting instead of adding the person to their professional network. The follow button has always been available, but users had to hunt for it deep in the settings menu.

Networking on LinkedIn has evolved from a focus on finding a new job and engaging with other professionals to learn new skills, ask for career guidance and read up on industry news, said Keren Baruch, group product manager for creative strategy at LinkedIn.

“As our ecosystem has grown, and as we see the world of work change, we see that content is now a key part of how professionals interact with not only their own jobs, but their industries, peers and their communities,” said Ms Baruch.

The research firm eMarketer estimates that adult LinkedIn users in the US who log on to the platform at least once a month will grow from 62.1 million last year to 64.7 million this year, and jump to 70.9 million in 2024.

But LinkedIn also faces competition from start-ups with a new edge, such as the audio-only app and Upstream, which connects professional groups.

LinkedIn’s ‘creator mode’ allows users to signal on their profile that they are a content creator on the platform.


Photo:

LinkedIn

The changes in LinkedIn, such as Microsoft Corp. bought in 2016 for around $ 26 billion dollars, came a few months after the company redesigned the platform and introduced its own version of the “stories” post format popular with Snapchat and Instagram.

The new creator mode is likely to get more people posting on LinkedIn, said business people who are already creating content for the platform.

“It really democratizes the process, and makes it easier and easier for a wider range of professionals who may not necessarily spend a lot of time and thought developing their personal brands and presence, but they want to do more,” said Dorie. Clark, adjunct professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Clark has 188,000 followers on LinkedIn.

Unlike most social media platforms, LinkedIn is a place where business people can market themselves and their successes, said Jason Lemkin, CEO of SaaStr Inc., a business software events and content site. Mr. Lemkin has nearly 190,000 followers on LinkedIn and regularly posts comments on industry news or posts content from SaaStr.

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“What LinkedIn allows you to do – which is powerful – is that you can become a micro-thinking leader in a small space,” Lemkin said.

One disadvantage of creator mode is the increased risk of spammy posts, users said. LinkedIn said that users can report posts they consider spam, misleading or fraudulent, which are then investigated by the company.

LinkedIn should also offer a way for users to monetize creative mode, said Jasmine Escalera, a career coach with nearly 5,000 followers on LinkedIn.

“I do not think there are any content creators out there who are not trying to monetize the content they post in the world,” Escalera said.

LinkedIn said they listen to users about the case.

“As we continue to listen to feedback from our members as we consider future opportunities, we will also continue to develop how we create more value for our creators,” said Ms Baruch.

Write to Ann-Marie Alcántara at ann-marie.alcantara@wsj.com

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