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Are LinkedIn and Twitter becoming unsocial?

Linkedin iPad

As a practicing B2B social media marketer, I use LinkedIn and Twitter extensively to share thoughts with my Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections. To make it easier to share the same content across both platforms, a link was provided between Twitter and LinkedIn. You could use this in two ways by either replicating all your tweets on LinkedIn or selectively sharing your tweets with your LinkedIn contacts by including a #in hashtag in your tweet.

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Sadly, this feature is no longer available. This is what was reported on Bloomberg news:

“LinkedIn Corp., owner of the world’s biggest professional-networking website, said posts from Twitter Inc. will no longer be displayed on its site, as the microblogger encourages users to visit its own services.

“They don’t want people to consume and interact with Twitter in places where they probably have no ability to put ads,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research.

I wonder how many people around the world are hastily changing their social strategies in reaction to this announcement. While I understand the reasoning about the “severed” relationship, I do not appreciate how these decisions are made and carried out without any due consideration of the millions of users of these social networks (many of which are paying users).

So going forward, if there is a specific update you want to share with your respective Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections, you have to do this independently on each platform. I tested the #in hashtag this morning which used to conveniently replicate your tweets on LinkedIn, but alas, this does not appear to work anymore. The link from LinkedIn to Twitter is still available however, enabling you to share LinkedIn updates, group discussions, etc. with your Twitter followers, but for how long I wonder?

I am pleased in a way that this has happened, as it will thwart the spammers that broadcast continuously across all these channels. It will also encourage users to manage their conversations independently too. LinkedIn users are generally different from Twitter users and the tone and content of the conversations differ too. I received a request from one of my LinkedIn contacts a while back. He told me that he found the links I shared with him very useful but he asked if I can strip out the “other” updates which he didn’t find useful. Upon investigation I discovered that the “other” updates were my Twitter conversations which a LinkedIn professional user, who is not accustomed to Twitter, would consider gibberish.

My take on this is that Twitter wants to make more money from their advertising and stopping Twitter updates from appearing on LinkedIn will force users to interact with content on their platform. Correct me if I am wrong here, but I thought social media (i.e. marketing 2.0) was all about word-of-mouth advertising. Twitter is brazenly promoting and encouraging “marketing 1.0” behaviour.

In conclusion, I think this move is good because we should be using the two platforms differently. It also discourages marketers that adopt a “spray and pray” approach with their content. It also teaches us all that you mustn’t assume relationships between these platforms will be there for evermore.

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