LinkedIn Redesign Targets Global Workforce with Bots and E-Learning
Aiming to "create opportunity for every member of the global workforce," professional networking site LinkedIn yesterday announced a redesigned look for its desktop app, a new online learning platform and smarter messaging capabilities with support for bot-enabled assistance.
The news comes a little over three months after Microsoft revealed plans to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, and less than a year after LinkedIn launched its flagship mobile app. The kickoff of LinkedIn Learning also comes on the heels of the company's acquisition of the online learning firm lynda.com last year.
CEO Jeff Weiner, product vice president Ryan Roslansky and other company executives unveiled the latest LinkedIn developments yesterday during a presentation that was streamed live from San Francisco. Weiner said the changes are aimed at helping LinkedIn's existing 450 million members and the rest of the global workforce succeed in the face of economic- and technology-driven challenges.
The Goal: 'World's 1st Economic Graph'
"We want to create opportunity for every member of the global workforce," which means providing help for more than 3 billion people, Weiner said yesterday. As part of that goal, LinkedIn aims to develop the "world's first economic graph," he added.
Ultimately, that entails having a profile for every one of the world's 3 billion workers and 60 million to 70 million companies, as well as offering a "digital representation" of every possible job and job skillset in the world, according to Weiner. It would also include a digital profile of every educational organization in the world.
Such an economic graph will allow all forms of economic, intellectual and human capital "to flow to where it can best be leveraged to help lift and transform the global economy," Weiner said.
LinkedIn's mission is aimed at the changes being brought about by advances in technology that are eliminating or displacing many types of jobs, he added. Weiner cited one prediction that estimates some 5 million jobs could be affected by such changes by 2020.
Messaging Bot a 'Personal Concierge'
The changes introduced this week build on the innovations rolled out with last year's updated mobile app, Roslansky noted in a blog post.
"Since our new mobile app was introduced last year and the rehaul of our messaging platform, we've seen a 240 percent increase in the number of messages sent, and half of our active members are using our messaging platform every week," he said. With the changes now coming to LinkedIn's desktop platform, the company is also previewing a new messaging bot technology.
"How often do you wish you had a personal concierge or an assistant to help you identify and schedule a time that works for a meeting?" Roslansky asked in his post. "We believe this combination of bots and messaging on LinkedIn could be game changing and will something our members can use daily."
In addition to the redesigned desktop and messaging capabilities, LinkedIn is bringing new educational opportunities to members through LinkedIn Learning (pictured above). The educational platform includes a library of more than 9,000 digital courses for business, technology, creative skills and languages, and offers personalized recommendations based on users' profiles. Courses will be offered in easily-viewed, "bite-sized segments" that can be accessed at any time and from any device, Roslansky added.