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Over the last couple months all the major social networks have been implementing changes, some for the worse and some for the better. But the one network that is still struggling to implement changes that have real value is LinkedIn.
Although it is one of the biggest networks out there, and is especially helpful for B2Bs and recruitment LinkedIn needs to get it together. Here is why:
Introduction of showcase pages
Since LinkedIn removed support of the products & services page and brought in the showcase page many businesses and companies that had spent a bunch of money and time on building and promoting these pages lost everything they had worked for and had to begin again on the showcase page.
Unless you are a major brand or service that has multiple products or a division that has enough content to populate the showcase page and keep up updated, they are pretty much a no-go area for most. Don’t get me wrong, there are some brands that have awesome showcase pages, but for a normal user, it’s not a viable solution.
Look and feel
A few weeks back LinkedIn changed the look of their pages to include a banner picture – going for a more Facebook-esq look – but what they failed to work on was the overall look and usability of the system. Images in the feed have multiple sizing issues: if you are sharing an image from a link or uploading a photo, your image generally comes out looking awful. Although this image issue could be to deter the use of memes, but LinkedIn is supposed to be “professional” network so one would assume that users wouldn’t be posting memes in any case.
Navigation and editing your profile isn’t rocket science, but it’s nowhere near as simple as the other social networks. Users have to dedicate a little more time to building and learning their way around. Overall the groups feature could be better put together. Sharing images in groups should be an option rather than having to link to an external site to see the full image.
If you are not familiar with SWAM, click here to learn more. The SWAM system is terribly constructed. Users are being told to post more to become a “top contributor” but at the drop of a hat it can decide that your content is spammy and place you into moderation for abuse. This becomes a huge issue when you are trying to contribute to groups that you are connected to.
The system is still as confusing as ever, and even with the recent update, it’s something that users are probably going to have to deal with for a good long while.
As a company page owner, one of the issues is the lack of moderation when it comes to people claiming to work at your company. Although this may not be a massive issue for smaller companies, but when you are a large organisation with 1000+ employees keeping track of your employees can get frustrating, especially when they don’t actually work there.
Building your company page is also no easy task, and not being able to invite people to your page via e-mail makes it even more difficult, especially if you have a great database of valuable people that you can invite in one go.
Features like publisher are a step in the right direction, but because it is still in the early development stage it’s hard to know if it will be something that sticks around, or if LinkedIn will monitor the system properly.
Although LinkedIn is great network to use and be on, it’s becoming more and more difficult to maximise it – a few system upgrades and general layout development could seriously change the usability of the site.
Image: Sheila Scarborough via Flickr.