Things change in the online space, in the social media space. I like the way LinkedIn tests things with part of their community (about 10%) then they roll it out to more (about 30%) to test the scalability and finally roll new features out to the entire population of 135+ million users. Sometimes though things don’t work as planned or the novelty wears off.
For example, their Tweets application, which allows you to show the Twitter stream of a selected account on your profile, and allows you to use other great features like finding the Twitter accounts of your connections and reading the Twitter stream of your connections on your home page. I really liked it because it allowed me to interact via Twitter directly with my LinkedIn connections. I added people I followed inside of LinkedIn to my Twitter list “LinkedIn Users” (https://twitter.com/#!/list/loriruff/linkedin-users) so I could track with their conversations when we engage each other on LinkedIn. It made for a very synergistic environment.
Alas, today I received a message from LinkedIn:
At LinkedIn, we want to provide a simple and efficient experience for members like you. So from time to time, we take a look at our set of features to evaluate how they’re being used by our members. Part of this process sometimes means we decide to eliminate a feature, so we can better invest those resources in building more great LinkedIn products.
Recently, it was decided that the Tweets application, a LinkedIn feature that you’ve used at some point, will no longer be supported as of January 31, 2012. Starting on that date, you will no longer be able to post recent tweets in a module on your profile or view recent tweets in a separate module on the home page. However, you can still display tweets on your profile by binding your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and then tweeting with an #in hashtag.
Even though it made it convenient for me to view my selected Twitter stream from within LinkedIn, I have Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/loriruff) and Hootsuite (http://www.hootsuite.com) open all the time so it’s not really a big loss. The upside is, as LinkedIn said in their message they “can better invest those resources in building more great LinkedIn products.”
Soon after I received the initial email from LinkedIn I received this follow up :
Earlier, you may have received a message from us about our Tweets Application. We could have done a much better job communicating about this change, so we want to clarify what this may mean to you:
1. We are not eliminating the ability to send updates between your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. You can still go to your Settings page and choose to send either all tweets or only tweets with a #in hashtag to your LinkedIn status updates. It’s up to you. Again, tweets imported from Twitter into the LinkedIn network updates stream will not be affected.
If you haven’t yet joined your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, here’s how you do it.
2. At the end of January, we will not be supporting the standalone Tweets Application on LinkedIn (see image), that displays tweets from everyone you follow on Twitter on your LinkedIn homepage. As of January 31st, this module will no longer be available.
If you have any additional questions, please visit our Help Center.
So while they are not completely cutting out the Twitter – LinkedIn connection, they are modifying how they implement it. The question I’ll pose to my readers then is what have you trimmed back on lately that will allow you to focus on more productive areas of your life? Not a bad lesson…