Microsoft’s revamp of LinkedIn is in full swing with the rollout of a Trending Storylines feature, designed to make the network a daily source of news for professionals. And that’s not all Microsoft has in store for the network either it seems.
According to multiple sources, a leaked presentation reveals LinkedIn is also rolling out a new ad targeting program called Matched Audiences. It’s a move that will see the return to targeting people outside of LinkedIn with ads – more than a year after it closed its external ad network.
LinkedIn wants to be a daily news source
LinkedIn rolling out its new Trending Storylines feature looks like something that came right out of the Facebook guide. Luckily Facebook is too busy stealing Snapchat features right now to really notice what’s going on over at LinkedIn. Not that they could do anything about it anyway.
LinkedIn’s Trending Storylines has already rolled out in the US (English-only) but we’ll have to wait a while to see the feature make it here to the UK. When it does, we’ll be looking at a stream of news stories, which is put together by a mix of machine learning, algorithms and a team of curators.
Users will receive a feed of trending stories based on who’s in their network, content they’ve already read or commented on and anything they write themselves. This personalised cluster of news will continue to focus on topics central to the LinkedIn brand: business, finance, technology, etc. So it won’t be copying the Facebook formula 100%, where the latest celebrity baby names are driving people crazy.
Whether this is enough to make Trending Storylines a daily feature in people’s lives remains to be seen – but it offers some hints about where Microsoft sees the network heading.
Matched Audiences coming this year
Marketing Land was the first to report on LinkedIn’s plans for Matched Audiences, curtesy of a leaked presentation that has since been removed from the network’s Marketing Solutions site and its YouTube channel. So it’s all hush-hush at this stage but Tim Peterson, who published the initial article on Marketing Land, seems to think we’ll have to wait until November to see Matched Audiences roll out.
When it does, it will see LinkedIn return to showing ads outside of the network. Advertisers will be able to target previous website visitors and they’ll also be able to upload email lists in a similar fashion to AdWords and Facebook.