LinkedIn might be the uptight suit of social networks, but it seems it wants some of the casual, after-hours club flair that is Facebook. Witness the news LinkedIn will add notifications, a productivity-undermining feature that lets you know when someone views your profile or “likes” something you’ve shared.
The notifications, which consist of icons and color highlighting in LinkedIn’s navigation bar, ape a very similar feature on Facebook. LinkedIn rolled out the notifications on its website, but says they will soon come to its iPhone, iPad, and Android software.
It seems odd for a workplace social network to deploy such an intentionally distracting feature. “You’ll never miss a comment or update to an engaging discussion about a news article or trending topic on LinkedIn,” the company says of notifications – as though that’s a good thing.
In some cases, such office diversions can be a good thing, at least according to the thinking behind recent social enterprise acquisitions, like Twitter-aping Yammer (sold to Microsoft for $1.2 billion) and Facebook-aping Rypple (sold to Salesforce.com for a reported $60 million). Big American corporations are working hard to become more innovative amid competition from well-funded startups at home and low-cost peers abroad; social networks are seen as ways for clever staff to quickly cut across divisional walls, management hierarchies, and other bureaucratic obstacles to unlock hidden stores of knowledge or implement new ideas.
In other words, Linkedin is trying to graduate from a simple resumé-and-headhunting site into something big — Facebook big - Read the rest of the WIRED article to find out more.