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On the surface, LinkedIn Today appears to be another one of LinkedIn‘s ploys to keep more of its users logged in for more than a few minutes at a time. By positioning itself as your new morning news (“Start your workday with LinkedIn Today”), the service aims to draw in users on a more consistent, prolonged basis.

After trying it myself, I have to say it definitely has potential. LinkedIn Today gives you top news from your LinkedIn connections as well as your industry. You can also see who shared what piece of news and filter results by company, industry and geographic location. I could see LinkedIn Today becoming a part of the morning let’s-get-up-to-date routine.

But then I wonder—how is LinkedIn Today different from any other aggregated news source? Quick examples off the top of my head include AllTop, Delicious and our trusty collection of RSS feeds. And don’t forget our carefully curated Twitter lists!

So What’s The True Value of LinkedIn Today?

Its value is not related to its goal of keeping you up to date. As previously mentioned, there are innumerable other ways to grab the latest news. The true value lies in the ability to see who has shared what. I mean really see who has shared what. Here’s why:

  • Clearer Relevance of Top News: Because LinkedIn Today gives you a detailed view of who’s shared what articles, you can now better associate relevance to the Internet’s top news. Sure, a breaking story from GeekWire may appear to be a relevant story to your industry (let’s say you work in tech) at first glance. But how many techies are actually sharing that piece of news? LinkedIn Today now gives you the opportunity see if the article is actually being buzzed about by any member that identifies him or herself as a technology professional.
  • Deeper Understanding of Your Network: Sure it’s easy to quickly find out someone’s prior work experience or professional associations via their LinkedIn profile. It’s not so easy to find out what news that same person thinks is valuable enough to share with their professional network (especially if they’re not one of your 1st connections). With LinkedIn Today, you can now conduct targeted searches and gain insight into what you network deems share-worthy.
  • Increased Opportunity for Thought Leadership: Why do we spend the time to populate our LinkedIn Profiles? To increase web presence? To collect recommendations? To pester HR reps? These are all valid reasons. But another reason has been picking up steam as of late: build thought leadership. LinkedIn Answers and LinkedIn’s adoption of “Likes” are two great examples of features that drive thought leadership on LinkedIn.

And we can now add LinkedIn Today into the mix. Because millions of users can now see what articles you share, this gives you an extra opportunity to show that you’re indeed immersed in your area of expertise.

If you’re itching for a full breakdown on LinkedIn Today, head to LinkedIn’s official announcement blog post or watch their video below. Otherwise, we’d love to hear what you think is most valuable about LinkedIn Today.

Title image courtesy of LinkedIn.

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