Have you been contacted by LinkedIn recently? I’ve been asking around the office and many of us have received an eshot promoting the latest LinkedIn app, Connected. According to the promotion, the app helps you ‘strengthen your professional relationships quickly and easily.’
I was slightly confused by this. I already use the LinkedIn app on my iPhone, which provides me with a newsfeed showing connections’ personal updates, job changes, work anniversaries and the like. As far as I was concerned, this gave me the tools I needed to strengthen my LinkedIn relationships.
But am I missing out? What does Connected offer that the original app doesn’t?
The app is designed specifically to give you the opportunity to network
Having done some research, it appears that the purpose of Connected, which launched in July, is to provide you with ‘relevant and timely reasons’ to keep in touch with people in your network.
In an introductory blog post, David Brubacher, product manager at LinkedIn, indicated that the app is designed to help you ‘invest in your relationships today, so opportunities blossom for you tomorrow.’
It’s an updated version of the old Contacts app, which combined contacts your from address books, email accounts and calendars with LinkedIn. Apparently, users wanted a ‘smarter, easier’ way to stay in touch with connections.
It looks sleek and is easy to use…
I’ve downloaded the app, which at first glance seems more akin to a dating site, with its ‘card-based app experience’ allowing you to swipe to view suggested or current connections.
The main sell is that Connected provides you with the tools to ‘celebrate moments that matter’ by knowing when people in your network have new jobs or are mentioned in the news.
I agree that it’s important to consolidate and strengthen your professional network. But if you’re a regular user, you’re already able to respond to milestones such as job changes and work anniversaries as they appear in your newsfeed.
…but doesn’t offer revolutionary networking tools
So I’m not sure how beneficial the app would be to someone who’s already invested in using LinkedIn to stay in touch with important contacts. It doesn’t allow you to see connections’ status updates, for example, something I find interesting and useful.
I don’t think I would use two apps, and I enjoy the numerous features of the LinkedIn app too much to shift my loyalty to Connected.
However, the app does feature ‘anticipatory computing’, which syncs your contacts and calendars to give you reminders prior to meetings. These reminders give you details of others attending the meeting, including any shared connections and interests.
A useful feature, but nothing you couldn’t access with the original app, although perhaps with slightly more effort on your part.
Whatever its networking benefits, the new app certainly offers a sleek user experience. As David Brubacher puts it, Connected ‘makes networking more fun.’ What do you think?