LinkedIn Groups are going through some changes

24 03 2011

If you are a member of the worlds most recognized professional social media site you have most likely noticed some changes lately. I’ve been using LinkedIn now for about two years and within the last 6 months upgraded to a premium account. Over the last two months or so I’ve been noticing a lot of changes, mostly in the group sections. I’ve noticed things like Public Groups, new fancy icons for new discussions within my groups list, and even a new tab in my groups for jobs and job discussions.

First, I’ll talk about the Public Groups. There have been countless blogs out there discussing if they should make their LinkedIn groups public or keep them private. It doesn’t really mater to me because LinkedIn has taken a lot of the power from group owners. I used to enjoy being the group owner and it provided special perks for me to build my network and touch base with targeted members of LinkedIn.

For example, If you were the owner of a private group you could actually see the email address for each person who requested membership in your group. This gave you the opportunity to contact them regardless of your connection status on LinkedIn, truly making it pay off to own a group. This feature has now been removed, what a bummer.

Also, the Jobs and Jobs discussions issue is shaking things up. As a recruiter I post targeted jobs in groups that I’m a member of. It used to be great because if someone was seeking opportunities they could easily click on the jobs tab and browse recently posted opportunities from fellow group members. Now there is an extra step. While the extra click is quite easy I fear that many infrequent users will not notice the additional job opportunities and essentially make the site less effective for professionals to use as a tool in their career search.

I can why LinkedIn is making the changes. They see opportunity to make more money from the great community that they have developed. They want to close loop holes and put more information out on the web, via public groups, to pull more professionals into the system, Well, that may work but only time will tell.

I just hope that if they are going to make these changes that they will increase the benefits for preferred members. I don’t see LinkedIn slowing down anytime in the near future but I’m interested to see if something better will be out there 5 years from now.

What are you comments? Have you noticed other changes lately? Is there something else out there already that compares? I’d love to hear from you.