LinkedIn announced that it has been working on a new email and notifications platform called Air Traffic Controller aimed at making its experience more enjoyable (or at least less annoying) to users.
Back in July, LinkedIn announced that it was starting to make changes to how it sends users emails so that they would be less frequent and more relevant. They began consolidating connection invitations and group updates, among other things, and claimed to have reduced the amount of email it was sending by 40%.
LinkedIn is now saying that it has reduced sending by 50% and complaints by 65%.
Air Traffic Controller is described as a single platform for all communication to LinkedIn members, including email, mobile, and SMS. It uses learning algorithms that take into account member interactions when determining frequency of communication.
"In short, there should be an immediate improvement to both the quantity and quality of communications you receive from LinkedIn," says Erica Lockheimer, director of engineering growth at LinkedIn. "Imagine seeing only the messages you want based on how you’re interacting with LinkedIn. This is what we’re striving for."
"Our first priority is to determine the right balance of mobile notifications and emails," she continues. "ATC will help us understand the best time for you to hear from us and which channel you prefer; be it email, push notification or SMS, as well as determining the right amount of messages we send you. We are doing this by paying close attention to your communication-setting preferences and by building intelligence around how you interact with LinkedIn. For example, in the past, we sent an email for every connection invite you received. Now, if you receive a handful of connection invites in a short period of time, our platform will automatically roll that up into a single email."
The platform helps LinkedIn address volume, frequency, and quality, Lockheimer says, adding that the company is getting smarter about curating its communication with members. It also helps add a new level of personalization that should increase relevancy of messages.
LinkedIn settled a lawsuit last month over "add me" emails. These were tied to the "Add Connections" feature, which allowed it to access users' email contacts and send them requests to connect on LinkedIn. Users had to give permission for that, however. The suit was regarding follow-up emails, which the plaintiffs deemed unauthorized. LinkedIn did not admit any wrongdoing, but chose to settle for $13 million to focus on improving member experience.
LinkedIn announced in its earnings call a couple weeks ago that it has surpassed 400 million members.
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