It’s always exciting to see launches of big new products from well-known and trusted companies. Yesterday LinkedIn did just that with their announcement of LinkedIn Today. LinkedIn Today is their shiny new social news offering for business folks. This product is not positioned to compete with Twitter, Facebook, or Flipboard; instead, LinkedIn sees it as the “Wall Street Journal of social news”.
It sounds like a great idea, but how is the execution? In short, not bad. The top stories we see on the site right now are topical and fresh. Many of these topics are covered in other places, but this product delivers real value when you drill down into industry-specific news.
Here’s a quick walkthrough: First, fire up your LinkedIn app (available on iOS and Android). Once you are logged in, tap the “News” icon (if using a browser, just go directly to LinkedIn Today). When you first use this feature, it prompts you to choose industries to follow. However, if you do not choose any you’ll see a customized feed based on the industries in which you and your connections work. For example, I see articles about the Internet, Computer Software, Online Media, and Design. You can add industries to follow, like Venture Capital, or you can follow specific news sources.
The articles are organized based on how many times each story has been shared by your network either on LinkedIn or Twitter, giving you an idea of what’s important to your social network today. One nice (and necessary, and fairly standard in these times) feature is that you can share or save stories directly from LinkedIn Today. If LinkedIn made this into an iPad specific app, rather than this current one designed for iPhone, it would likely be the best news consumption app on the market. Flipboard for fun, LinkedIn for business.