Last week, LinkedIn made a new announcement about the future of LinkedIn Groups. Law firms that use LinkedIn for professional networking or legal marketing will want to ensure that they understand what the changes are and how it may affect their current efforts. LinkedIn announced the return of new LinkedIn Groups to the mobile version of the platform. The Groups product manager, Mitali Pattnaik, let experts know that while certain features are being temporarily removed for the Group integration into the main application, LinkedIn Groups will now exist in a much more intuitive manner.
In the past, LinkedIn offered Groups on mobile, but only via a standalone app and just with iOS. That LinkedIn Group application disappeared in February. At the time of its removal, LinkedIn had announced that it was looking for of ways to incorporate Groups into its existing main app.
Changes to the Group Functionality
In addition to relaunching Groups, LinkedIn is in the process of streamlining the associated features based on previous user feedback and confusion. Some of the features that will no longer be available include the option for Group administrators to preemptively monitor comments, as well as the option to send Group posts in the form of emails to the entire group. The latter of these was easy to abuse with unsavvy marketing, which is why eliminating it is a smart move. To make up for these disappearing features, LinkedIn will be adding some new functionality to Groups, including the ability to post media, like videos and threaded replies.
What We Can Expect from the Groups
When the standalone LinkedIn Groups app disappeared, it was reasonably different than the version of Groups that we will see integrated into the main LinkedIn application. After all, it will need to incorporate some of the features that are more recent to the LinkedIn platform. As such, the LinkedIn feed will now display Groups conversations within the main stream instead of within a separate tab. The addition of threaded replies to posts will also make it much easier to make direct replies to specific comments.
From a legal marketing perspective, the integration of rich media for Groups is an exciting update that will let law firms edit posts and share non-text formats like videos. Most agree that this feature is long overdue considering the crucial role video plays in other social media platforms. It is also a feature that Groups have wanted since LinkedIn launched. We can also expect some more controls for Group administrators, including the ability to pin items and approve or remove members via the application.
We’ve already discussed how LinkedIn groups are valuable for law firms in terms of establishing thought leadership, attracting potential clients, and creating a thriving social community. For these reasons, the new LinkedIn Groups relaunch is exciting. Now lawyers can stay connected with their LinkedIn networks from their mobile device and law firms can make real time updates to their groups.