Starting today, LinkedIn users will see more information about other users who have viewed their profiles on the professional social networking site. LinkedIn is adding some simple data about industries and job titles to its summary of profile visitors, and simple analytics aggregating those job titles, as well.
At first glance, it’s all very intriguing, especially for users of the free service who have to date gotten spotty lists of sometimes unnamed users who have taken at least a peek at their profiles, but with no context to explain what that might mean.
But what LinkedIn would really like you to do is to be tempted to add more information to your profile; suggestions to do so are being added to the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” screen, along with statistics about how the additions might help you attract more attention, according to Mashable. And if you want to share your business insights in long form, LinkedIn wants you to do that on its platform, too. Another recent announcement: The LinkedIn Influencer program, which began with invited, high-caliber, highly recognizable writers, has now been expanded so that all users may publish articles and share them with their LinkedIn networks. LinkedIn is dangling the carrot of content sharing in its Best of LinkedIn blasts to attract users to the option. Or, you can hope that your witty writings at least go viral among your personal network.
The section will also show you where other users were right before they found your profile, whether it was within LinkedIn or on another site, explains PC World. This actually seems like it might be one of the most useful pieces of information in all of the new additions.
LinkedIn users can now also block other users from viewing their profiles. A petition from users for this feature, according to SC Magazine, prompted the addition. The fact that LinkedIn has long been a honeypot of valuable information for phishers makes this change long overdue, though it doesn’t solve that problem. Users can only block 50 users, as of right now, and would have to identify those users as a threat of some kind. Safer to limit the amount of data that you add to your profile, which is exactly what LinkedIn does not want you to do.
If you feel, as I do, that all of this profile checking is a bit creepy on LinkedIn, rest assured that you are not alone. Writer Varda Epstein attempts to explain on Huffington Post why we may feel the urge to check the list of those who’ve looked at our profiles, even though it leaves us uneasy. And why we then feel even more uneasy about the fact that if we view someone else’s profile, for whatever reason, we may creep them out, too. The easiest answer is not to view other profiles. As a second option, Epstein suggests that an email explaining your interest or connection is a wise communication choice. She also details a method that you can use to prevent others from knowing that you viewed their profile – but I’ll leave that for you to investigate, if you feel the urge.