A few weeks ago, LinkedIn announced they are changing the look and feel of “Messages” on desktop and in their mobile app. If you’ve used LinkedIn Messages before, you already know the somewhat outdated feel to it, especially compared to super-simple messaging experiences such as Facebook Messenger and Twitter Direct Messages. Previously, “Messages” had a slow, back-and-forth, email-like design, but soon, that will change completely, and it will transform how you network and keep in touch with your connections.
Over the next few weeks, more and more LinkedIn users will have the new “Messages” interface. It looks quite similar to Facebook’s Messenger, featuring an extremely clean and simple layout for instant messaging. The new “Messages” will also feature easy sharing of photos, documents, emojis, GIFs, and more types of content between users.
If you already have the new version, you know what the new user interface looks like, and chances are, you’ve used some of the new features. If you don’t have the new version yet, hang tight. LinkedIn is still rolling out the update around the U.S., and then to other parts of the world. But, whether you have the updated message center or not, you should understand what this means for professionals today, and moving forward on LinkedIn.
Keeping in touch becomes more human
Now that LinkedIn’s messaging center is mirrored after Facebook Messenger, it re-energizes communications between two professionals, and removes any notions (likely negative ones) of treating these messages like emails, which they honestly felt like. Now that sending and receiving messages is real-time, includes new forms of media and content, and is just more enjoyable to use, that means scheduling coffee meetings, phone calls, interviews, and other appointments becomes much, much easier.
Nowadays, with “inbox zero” as the continuous and ultimate goal in our day-to-day lives, communicating instantly with one another, especially from a psychological standpoint, is a better experience. You don’t feel completely bogged down and behind like you do with emails, and the new UI and UX of LinkedIn’s Messages will be mobile-first, which allow users to easily check messages, respond, and take action whenever and wherever.
New Outreach Techniques for Business Development Professionals
Sales and business development professionals can use the new LinkedIn “Messages” in creative, attention-grabbing, and clever ways. If you work at a software company looking to demo your product, you can now send photos, GIFs, documents, and other forms of media to individuals on LinkedIn (depending on each other’s membership level, privacy settings, and other factors). These new media types within the new messaging center is a unique way to get your product in front of people using non-traditional methods. We now associate boring and time-wasting product pitches in the form of email, but if you use the right combination of copy, visuals, and timing, you can use LinkedIn Messages in entirely new ways to get your foot in the door, and ultimately sell, sell, sell.
Internal Communications Made Easy
Perhaps you freelance, consult, or work part-time. It can sometimes be difficult to set up an effective communications plan with your temporary colleagues. LinkedIn Messages, especially with the ability to send photos and documents to one another, might be an easy solution for messaging and sending documents to your team. Some of us like to keep our Facebook for strictly personal use, and others might find Slack too confusing or complex to use.
If either of these, or something along these lines, apply to you or your current gig, it might be worth considering giving the new messages on LinkedIn a try. Not to mention, the new layout allows you to have group conversations as well, which make collaborating on projects and communicating with more than two people incredibly easy and efficient.
Advertisements might appear as messages
Nothing is confirmed about the new “Messages” format and possible advertisements, but it’s reasonable to assume that one day, advertisers will be able to monetize from these “real-time messages” through paid media. For example, you own a commercial kitchen and appliances business in California, and you have a new product you want to sell to restaurants throughout the state. Depending on your budget (and of course, if this becomes a reality), you can pay LinkedIn to send a certain number of restaurant owners and managers a personalized, instant message introducing yourself, your business, and your new product. The recipient views it as an ordinary message that, hopefully, is not too intrusive, and ideally, valuable information to receive.
Learn more about the new LinkedIn Messages on LinkedIn’s official blog.