The world's largest professional network, LinkedIn, has opened its publishing platform to a select group of its 277 million members with plans to expand the capability in the near future.
In today's official announcement, LinkedIn's head of content, Ryan Roslansky, stated that the move will provide members with "a powerful new way to build their professional brand" on what he calls, "the definitive professional publishing platform." This user generated content will be published to the member's profile, subsequently disseminating the information to their network and followers. LinkedIn will then use its vast amount of user data and post engagement to, with an algorithm, distribute the articles to a wider viewership. Before today, the ability to publish long-form posts was limited to members of the popular and prestigious Influencer Program, which includes individuals influential within their industry, such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, and our own Dave Kerpen. Now, talented authors who write posts that are highly engaging may be able to join these ranks without being, say, a Fortune 500 CEO or the President of the United States.
The main point of differentiation between this publishing platform and others, including Wordpress, Facebook, and Pinterest, is that LinkedIn is directly tied to a professional identity. This change, along with the acquisition of Pulse, is indicative of the LinkedIn team's larger mission of helping professionals. This expanded democratization of thought leadership is certainly a giant leap toward that goal. With its publishing platform, LinkedIn is democratizing thought leadership by providing a new and unique outlet for people to build their personal brand, share advice and insights, and be regarded as an industry expert.
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