LinkedIn is finally following the path of other social sites like Facebook and Twitter as the professional network has just launched Sponsored Updates for your activity feed.
LinkedIn has been testing Sponsored Updates for about six months nows, but today they're finally pulling back the veil on the new advertising venture.
"We know that getting relevant information at the right time can help inform the many business decisions you make throughout your day. Through Sponsored Updates, businesses aim to engage select communities of LinkedIn members with useful information. This can come in the form of an article, blog post, video or presentation that is rooted in relevant content," says LinkedIn's Gyanda Sachdeva.
Sponsored Updates will appear in your activity feed and will be clearly marked as "Sponsored." Users will have the ability to like, comment, and share the updates. They'll also be given the option to follow the company responsible for the update.
And if you're not happy with any particular piece of sponsored content you find in your feed, you can always hide it.
"We are focused on delivering posts that will be relevant to you. Just like other content in your feed, we will gauge your engagement with Sponsored Updates and aim to surface posts that will be useful to you. In the event a piece of content isn’t relevant to you, we offer the option to hide it from your feed. You can see this option on the top right by hovering on any Sponsored Update," says Sachdeva.
At launch, some high-profile companies have already signed on as partners to the new Sponsored Update initiative, including Allstate Insurance, Box Inc., Domo, Inc., Charles Schwab & Co., General Electric, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan Motor Company, The Weinstein Company, Wall Street Journal, and Xerox.
"Marketers are increasingly leveraging content to inform, educate, and inspire their current and prospective customers. But the high quality content they’ve produced – slideshows, articles, videos, and whitepapers – does not always achieve enough reach and engagement on their own channels. With Sponsored Updates, marketers will be able to distribute this content directly to relevant professionals in a place their customers and prospects are already consuming professionally relevant content. Marketers can target Sponsored Updates to any segment of our premium audience based on professional profile data across more than 225 million members," says LinkedIn's David Hahn.