Sahail Ashraf posted on 18 May 2022
LinkedIn has come under fire for being too casual. And with Reactions, things are even more controversial. So will the expected new Reaction harm the brand?
LinkedIn continues to widen its scope with a potential new Reaction popping up shortly. For all those users who are complaining that the platform is becoming less serious by the month, this one is not going to go down too well.
For years, LinkedIn existed somewhere in the middle of seriousness and levity. Now and then, there were some more heart-felt and personal posts in your feed, but the vast majority of the content that you saw was about work and business. This was appropriate, because the platform was founded on that need to keep things professional. It was a networking site for professionals, after all.
Then LinkedIn became less serious. Soon, personal posts became the norm, and then Reactions were included in the options available to posters.
LinkedIn created Reactions to enable users to have a smoother feel to their conversations on the platform. The whole idea revolved around helping users to communicate more easily when on LinkedIn. To communicate a quick and clear response was the important thing.
All users had to do was hover over the Like icon on the post they were looking at and a range of Reactions popped up.
Celebrate is a Reaction that allows users to respond in a positive way to an announcement, such as where a connection posts that they have accepted a new position in a company. Or it may be that there is a work anniversary that has just occurred. This Reaction is a pair of hands clapping.
Then we have the Support Reaction. This is a Reaction directly linked to showing empathy for a connection who has undergone some kind of professional struggle. This can range from getting through a tough job interview to managing change at work. This Reaction is a hand with a heart in it.
Love is a Reaction that LinkedIn intended to be used for connections who have posted something that resonated with you. According to LinkedIn, it can cover events like:
Insightful and Curious come next:
Insightful – Expresses that you thought the post made a great point, offered a new idea, or shared helpful insights or advice. For example:
Curious – Expresses that you’re intrigued by a thought-provoking perspective or question, and you want to learn more. For example:
As to why LinkedIn created Reactions:
People come to LinkedIn every day to discover what’s happening in their professional communities and talk to one another about topics and ideas related to their work. These conversations cover a wide range, whether it’s discussing industry news, celebrating a company milestone, giving advice on someone’s job search journey, or sharing thoughts on important workplace topics like being a working parent.
One of the things we regularly hear from all of you is that you want more expressive ways than a “Like” to respond to the variety of posts you see in your feed. At the same time, you’ve also told us that when you post on LinkedIn, you want more ways to feel heard and understand why someone liked what you said.
We took a thoughtful approach to designing these reactions, centered around understanding which ones would be most valuable to the types of conversations members have on LinkedIn. This process included looking at what people are already talking about to better understand what feedback they wanted to express and receive — for example, we analyzed the top 1-2 word comments being used and what types of posts people are sharing most. We also conducted global research with LinkedIn members to get feedback on the specific reactions to ensure they were universally understood and helpful.
Funny is the expected new Reaction. It is very much self-explanatory, with users being able to utilize this Reaction when they find something humorous in their feed.
It is apparently one of the most requested Reactions by the user base. So it’s obvious that LinkedIn would want to serve its base well. That makes sense. What might not make sense is the concept of having a laughing Reaction for a platform that used to be so serious.
It’s quite the thing. LinkedIn has received criticism from users for its perceived slipping into ‘social network’ territory. While LinkedIn has not yet added Funny to Reactions, this could be the final nail in the coffin for users who want to feel like they are part of a professional networking site.
From serious and professional, to slightly more personal and then to laugh-out-loud funny. LinkedIn has had quite a journey. But many users may think it has come too far.
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