LinkedIn has released some updates to its Groups feature. This is the first major update to Groups since the company launched discussions last summer.
For starters, LinkedIn has eliminated the wall between onsite comments and off-site content like shared news articles. A new design makes it easier to look at the latest updates of a discussion and comment.
Group members can now curate conversations that will be seen by the group. "This is most obvious in the carousel of new content – original posts, RSS items, and off-site links shared by group members – that can be voted up or down by any group member," explains LinkedIn's Ian McCarthy. "This feature allows users to quickly peruse new content and vote either by 'liking' or commenting on discussions they deem worthy of the group's attention. Users who prefer to see all discussions sorted chronologically can just click on the 'See all new discussions' link on the homepage."
It's now easier to get email updates from select group members. You can get alerts by simply clicking "start following" below the profile photo of a usre in any group thread. In addition, LinkedIn will now highlight group members that contribute the most, and spark the most participation from other members. They will be called "top influencers".
LinkedIn says this is only the first of upcoming upgrades to the Groups platform, conversation system, and moderation toolkit. Be on the look out for more changes in the near future.