3 min read

Apologies, But LinkedIn Is Now Trendy

Apologies, But LinkedIn Is Now Trendy

Let's talk about LinkedIn. The platform traditionally associated with professional networking is undergoing a metamorphosis, attracting a new breed of users and transcending its previous image.

LinkedIn Has Its Own Vibe Now

In the realm of social media, each major platform has carved out its own niche. Twitter is notorious for heated debates with strangers, Instagram thrives on showcasing an individual's best selfies, and Facebook often reveals more about old college acquaintances than one might wish to know. Then there's LinkedIn – the realm of obligatory professional updates and endless emails urging congratulations on "work anniversaries."

LinkedIn is... Cool Now

But times are changing. As other platforms grapple with stagnation, algorithm changes, and controversies, LinkedIn is emerging as a space where ordinary individuals genuinely want to engage and share their thoughts. In a twist of fate, LinkedIn might just be on its way to being considered "cool."

LinkedIn, which Microsoft acquired for a staggering $26.2 billion in 2016, doesn't disclose its daily or monthly user statistics, common metrics in the social media realm. Nevertheless, the company notes that users shared 41% more content on the platform in the spring of this year compared to the same period in 2021. Such impressive growth is a rarity for a platform that's been around for two decades and underscores the disruptions occurring on other prominent social media platforms.

Selena Rezvani, an influencer boasting 100,000 LinkedIn followers who offers advice on boosting confidence, highlights the ripple effects of changes on other platforms. As platforms like X (Elon Musk's rebranded Twitter) shift their focus towards memes or paid subscriptions, and Instagram and Facebook pivot to counter TikTok's popularity with short-form videos, LinkedIn stands as a refuge for those seeking traditional self-promotion.

Leaving X to Hang on LinkedIn

The shift is prompting a new phenomenon – people who once abandoned X are now congregating in unconventional places. In an era where social media users have scattered to various platforms attempting to redefine the landscape, they are finding themselves returning to LinkedIn's familiar territory, albeit with a hint of irony.

LinkedIn Remains Professional

LinkedIn's distinct connection to professional pursuits grants it staying power. Students and recent graduates find value in the platform for job hunting, even if they find little reason to remain active on X, a platform characterized by political chaos. A peculiar mix of vacation pictures and emotional stories graces LinkedIn, often coupled with a casual reference to work – a testament to the platform's professional essence.

While individuals who grew up documenting their lives on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are now discovering utility in exchanging "happy work anniversary" messages, LinkedIn's journey has been a transformation. Once deemed awkward and desperate for posting earnest content, LinkedIn has evolved into a place where cultivating a thought leadership image is strategic and increasingly socially acceptable.

LinkedIn's Product Enhancements for Content and More

LinkedIn's product enhancements play a significant role in this transformation. The platform has introduced tools for newsletters, podcasts, and multimedia content creation, catering to career-driven individuals. Unlike other platforms that overhaul their algorithms frequently, LinkedIn remains impartial to the form of content shared, fostering a sense of consistency for its users.

Dan Roth, LinkedIn's editor-in-chief, highlights the company's commitment to providing valuable content. As Meta and X diverge from news-related content, LinkedIn doubles down on curation efforts and partnerships with content creators, delivering knowledge-based content that resonates with users.

A Turning Point

The COVID-19 pandemic marked a turning point. Blurred lines between work and personal life prompted individuals to share more about their personal experiences. Workers began realizing the importance of establishing a distinct professional identity, opening doors to new opportunities.

As the pandemic forced many to change career paths or explore new ventures, posting on LinkedIn grew increasingly relevant. Amid layoffs at prominent companies like Meta, Alphabet, and Amazon, professionals turned to LinkedIn as a platform that's more aligned with stability.

In contrast, public personal sharing on other platforms is dwindling. TikTok's impact on Meta has led to algorithm changes that prioritize interests over friendships. Personal sharing now finds refuge in ephemeral stories or direct messages.

The Unique Business Model of LinkedIn

The uniqueness of LinkedIn lies in its steady business model. Relying on subscription sales to recruiters and salespeople, LinkedIn isn't overly dependent on attention-seeking tactics that fuel ad-supported platforms. This approach seems to be paying off, with the platform's revenue reaching $15 billion in Microsoft's recent fiscal year – nearly triple its figure from five years ago.

Critics argue that LinkedIn is merely a stream of self-promotion and direct messages from unfamiliar connections aiming for professional gain. Yet, this level of transparency might be preferred to the pretentiousness often seen on other platforms like Instagram, where curated perfection is the norm.

LinkedIn is Driving Genuine Engagement

LinkedIn's rise as a platform with genuine engagement suggests that its growth is not just a passing trend. As it continues to evolve, LinkedIn exemplifies how a traditional platform can adapt to modern sensibilities, reminding us that sometimes, being true to one's professional persona can be cool in its own right.

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