When it comes to social media, developers and digital strategists keep forgetting that they are dealing with human minds.
Capturing the largest audience does not always mean you do it best. Capturing audience sometimes means that you were the first to enter the market and as an early bird in the business you monopolised the game, and created hard obstacles and barriers for any other competitor to enter. However, this doesn’t mean that people don’t wish there could be a better service than you.
The problem about change and driving users to new and better platforms is that people are generally lazy or reluctant to go through re-generating their whole online identities, or adding the same connections all over again. The ultimate examples are Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin.
Therefore, if giant platforms can leverage these elements of laziness and involvement of their users, they can make it pretty impossible for competition to take over, as in social media, monopoly of niche services highly relies on market entry timing.
In other terms, and for the sake of everyone’s efficiency and convenience, and instead of giving competitors a reason to iterate or reinvent the wheel, the best thing for giant social platforms to do is to improve their own features to what makes users happy.
When it comes to LinkedIn, there is a mysterious problematic. The website has all the resources and power to do everything to become the perfect professional online networking space, but it hasn’t yet.
There are legitimiate reasons why we still have this love-hate relationship with Linkedin, and why its has to change:
1- A Bad User Interface (UI): it is so unacceptable that a social networking website as large as LinkedIn still has such bad UI and UX. It makes you wonder if Linkedin has not been hipstery enough to attract the cool designers of the valley. Whether it’s their desktop website or mobile app, they both have ridiculously unfriendly features to the point where even the simplest tasks, such us browsing sent messages, finding the button to remove a connection, or leaving an annoying group you joined on a bad hair day, are hard to find.
The mobile app is particularly a mess; it is like Linkedin telling the user, ‘hey don’t complain, we’ve got you a mobile app- but you still need to go to your desktop to find all features, because afterall, that’s where we make money from ads’.
2- A Vague Identity of who You should be on Linkedin: A stuck up conservative banker? A Facebook-material person? Or just yourself?
The thing is you can’t be too personal, as everyone is watching you, from the CEO of GE, to your employee for whom you’re an aspiration. Yet we all know that our *professional* identities aren’t too real.
Another thing about identities, Linkedin seems just unfriendly for freelancers, developers, techies, or just anyone who sees the new world of business in a more creative way. There is a feel that the network is cluttered by baby boomers from C-suite levels, that burden younger generation’s ability to add professional value beyond a rigid professional article they share about their industry.
3- Too Revealing: You hesitate before commenting on anything or Liking it.
The network tries to make itself viral on behalf of our privacy, by allowing users to see every thing you say or like on other people posts. It’s often a double edged sword because people become hesitant between sharing their opinion and not wanting everyone in their network to be able to track it.
4- The Flirting Game: as a girl who has been approached many times on a supposedly professional network by flirting scammers, I ask for a button that tags a user as *the flirting type*. I am sure they have done it with you girls as well, so we can together eliminate such people from the platform.
Another no-no for the network and the order of transparency we aspire to live in.
5- Job applications: When a job has 1500 applicants, why do you even care to apply? #Facepalm.
As an employer once told me I posted a social media vacancy and I received 2500 CVs in one day. I ended up resorting to a recruitment agency to do the job for me.
Key take away: the system is too unfiltereted and non-selective. And apparently makes everyone unhappy.
6- Endorsements: Getting an endorsement from an unknown person makes you wonder if they have some magical powers of knowing people assets without ever seeing them.
We all know by now that endorsed skills are self perceived features that other people highlight for you just because they are hammered by the network with requests to do so. If not for that, your self-perceived skills would always remain self perceived; ones you enter because you want to brand yourself as such. Story short we know this section of the network is a scam.
and Finally, about:
7- Those Work Anniversaries: Dear Linkedin, I may not be “celebrating” my n-th year at my company. It might have as well been the worst years of my life. Please, get real.