LinkedIn, the enterprise social network for professionals — soon to be acquired by Redmond tech behemoth Microsoft for $26.2 billion — is churning out innovative products and technologies one day after another. The company has today taken the wraps off a new ‘learning-based product’ at a launch event in San Francisco.
Moving beyond the two core and long-running offerings of the platform i.e job hunting and recruitment, the company is now finally doubling down and putting its $1.5 billion acquisition of online learning platform Lynda.com into play.
It has today launched a new online learning portal called ‘LinkedIn Learning’ for more than 450+ million members of the social network. It is focused not only towards offering tailored course content to individuals, but also for businesses looking to keep training and improving their employees. LinkedIn is of the opinion that an individual needs to keep learning continuously to stay ahead of competition and be a successful professional.
Commenting on the launch of the new service, Ryan Roslansky, VP of Products at LinkedIn says,
Today, we are thrilled to announce the launch of LinkedIn Learning, an online learning platform enabling individuals and organizations to achieve their objectives and aspirations. Our goal is to help people discover and develop the skills they need through a personalized, data-driven learning experience.
A large part of the new learning service is based on the year and a half old lynda.com platform and offers over 9,000 courses right off the bat. It combines the industry-leading content from lynda with the core professinal data and network on the platform, to recognize the skills you need and deliver personalized expert-led course suggestions for you to hone those skills.
The content offered on the new e-learning platform will cover a wide variety of business, creative and technical topics, ranging from leadership soft skills to writing and programming. LinkedIn will also continue to evolve the platform and add about 25 new courses a week to its already humongous library ported over from lynda. It will also offer course content in languages, German, Spanish, Japanese and French, apart from English(of course!)
The courses can both be selected by an individual employee or recommended by their employers and HR managers, who can then also keep tabs on the progress using LinkedIn’s analytics products. Now, you and your organization can identify which skills are key for achieving career and business goals. The company also mentions that it will soon be adding an enterprise tier so that large companies can take subscriptions for their entire employee base. The service will currently be available to only LinkedIn Premium subscribers.
In addition to all the enterprise features, LinkedIn is also offering you the flexibility to break the course content into byte-sized segment and watch it at your own convenience, on any device — online or off. The idea behind the whole gamut of courses and content is to make it easier to on-board and educate a larger chunk of the population, and get them ready for the upcoming professional phase of their lives. The company also encourages younger users to
The announcement of ‘LinkedIn Learning’ experience relies on what the company calls ‘the economic graph’, and it sees online training and education as a business opportunity and an experience set to meet the demands of millions of students(and trained professionals).
It also comes at the heels of the release of ‘highly significant’ new initiatives for the Indian masses last week. Titled as LinkedIn Placements, LinkedIn Starter Pack, and LinkedIn Lite, the three initiatives are meant to offer access to more opportunities in the country. The online job placement service that tests an individual’s skills and allows them to apply for a job in multiple tech organisations at once, could prove to be a gem for fresh college pass-outs.
Redesigned Desktop website, chatbots in messaging
With the advent increase in the release of new products, LinkedIn is not divulging focus away from its core offerings. It has today announced some major changes coming to the desktop website in the form of — a refreshed UI experience, smarter content feed, and the expected(or unexpected!?) addition of chatbots to the messaging service.
The changes are currently not live, but are expected to make an appearance in the coming weeks.
The core inspiration behind the desktop website redesign is to make the experience more consistent over all of its other platforms, specially mobile. The change was long overdue and brings with it quicker ways of exploring your own profile, more influencer and curated content to the news feed alongwith a dynamic new stream of potential jobs and other content.
Lastly, the company also showed off a basic preview of the updates coming to the native messaging experience on the platform — which has seen a 240% spike since last year. Just like every other messaging platform out there, LinkedIn is also betting big on AI and bringing on virtual assistants to your conversation(a little bit like Google Assistant in Allo). But instead of helping you search jobs, the bot will be focused on ‘suggested content’ delivery right into the messaging experience.
For example, if you’re conversing with an investor who wants to schedule a meeting, then the bot can pop-up, sync with your Google calender and schedule the meet for you. It can even pick the location, i.e choose the meeting room and book it ahead of time. Though fairly basic, LinkedIn has given its messages a companion in the form of chatbots –something becoming very common with each platform. We’ll now, however, have to wait and see how the company differentiates it from every other chatbot out there.
To know more about the product innovations and updates to the LinkedIn platform, you can watch the complete keynote event right here: