/// Is LinkedIn trying to become WordPress for the business executive set?
Today LinkedIn opened a new feature for influencers to not only create original content for their site, but also to allow LinkedIn users to follow this handpicked group of big-name influencers.
I think this is a nice move today by LinkedIn for a couple reasons:
LinkedIn has been slowly moving towards becoming a central hub for online business content curation over the past few years, something given even more urgency when Twitter shut off the Twitter API to LinkedIn. (In retrospect that was a good thing given how it uncluttered the LinkedIn stream). This move takes LinkedIn beyond just a curation hub to one with original content from some of the biggest business influencers out there.
It also mimics one of my favorite features of Facebook (and I don’t actually have many of those), which is the influencer subscribe feature. Facebook’s move to allow users to subscribe to influencers was a smart one (and also meant influencers didn’t have to pull the awkward move of creating a Facebook Page). This type of subscribe feature makes even more sense for LinkedIn.
It will be interesting to see how Linkedin grows its influencer network. In fact, I have to wonder if one of the company’s longer-term goals is to become the push-button publishing platform for the business influencer crowd. Today it’s Richard Branson and Mitt Romney, but in the long term there’s a real opportunity to open this up to business executives one, two or three tiers down, particularly those who don’t have their own web destinations — nor do they really want to build them.
But I can guarantee you nearly every executive today has a LinkedIn page.
Just imagine if these execs could simply create a blog post or column and hit publish on Linkedin, a web destination where most likely already have hundreds or even thousands of connections.
I might be wrong here, and I’m sure Linkedin’s first goal is to get original content from celebrity business influencers first. But the bigger goal, in my mind, would be to turn Linkedin into a push-button publishing platform for the millions of execs who use it every day.