By the time you read this there's a good chance that your LinkedIn iOS or Android app has gone through a heavy revamp. The new "Project Voyager" app promises a bold step forward for what VentureBeat calls a "stagnant service". LinkedIn hopes that the new design will encourage users to use the application more, and will resolve many of their complaints about the platform. So, what's changed?
Finally, a design that makes sense
The redesigned app has a cleaner, simpler approach. It takes heavy inspiration from other social networks from Facebook's share bar to Tinder's swiping mechanic. While not reinventing the wheel, the new app does at least feel more natural when compared to its counterparts. The aforementioned share bar also shows a renewed focus on user content - something with which the platform has struggled to encourage in the past.
The design has now been based around five core areas - Your Feed, Me, My Network, Messaging, and Search. These areas focus on tasks that users may want to use on a daily basis.
1) Your feed
Content from across your network - tailored to what LinkedIn believes is most relevant to you - based on your industry, job title and more. An important difference is your ability to now indicate what content you are interested in and what you want to see less of. For brands and influencers it will be extremely important for them to get their content right in the next few months as people start getting to grips with this.
Now you can see all things about you in one place - who’s viewed your profile, who is commenting on, or sharing your posts. You can also update your profile in what LinkedIn describes as "the most intuitive way ... that we have ever had". That remains to be seen.
3) My Network
This is where LinkedIn provides a daily briefing of what's changed in your network and how to expand and improve your connections. You can see people you may know, new posts from your network and suggestions to keep connected.
You can also now sync it to your calendar and the app will provide a blurb of other attendees before you have a meeting - allowing you to clue up on shared interests and connections.
If you've used LinkedIn's messaging in the last month or so you'll have already seen they have taken a more informal approach. It now feels far more like IM - and is meant to encourage quick short conversations. Any yes, it does also have emojis.
The final of the five cores is good old fashioned search. Except it is now "300% faster, and a lot smarter, so you can quickly find people, jobs and groups you’re looking for."
Is it enough?
Looking at the media coverage one might be forgiven for thinking LinkedIn is in serious trouble. On the whole many headlines are questions whether the update is "too little, too late." The platform continues to grow steadily, so from this perspective it is performing well. But design problems and concerns about modernisation have plagued LinkedIn for years - bringing questions about its longevity as a service. I wrote how back in the summer there was an awkward exchange between its CEO and an audience member around this topic.
As Fortune's Kia Kokalitcheva puts it: "I’ve heard many people say that they don’t update their profile as soon as they switch jobs. I’ve heard others complain that they don’t bother checking their LinkedIn messages because they’re mostly spam and, until recently, awful to navigate through."
Does this redesign do enough to change that? Can it bring these users back into the fold? Let me know your thoughts on the new app in the comments below.