LinkedIn users can now "Follow" thought leaders on the network

On Tuesday, popular professional social network LinkedIn introduced a new feature that will enable users “follow” and receive updates from people outside their personal contact list. This new feature will allow celebrities as well as ordinary LinkedIn users alike to post messages, share photos and links to news articles that can be read by a broad group of people.

The LinkedIn blog stated,” Today, we’re providing another way for you to get even more value from LinkedIn by accessing the incredible insights and information directly from some of the most recognized and influential professionals on LinkedIn. We’ve also made it even easier for you to join or start a professional discussion.”

The ability to have followers will be initially available to 150 of the most influential thought leaders on LinkedIn who will be sharing unique knowledge and professional insights. Users can now follow the likes of Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Caterina Fake, Craig Newmark, President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, and many more. Users can read what they are saying, like and comment directly on their posts, and share with their network. In addition to having access to status updates, users will also get to see longer form and original posts from influencers with videos, photos, and Slideshare presentations.

Some of the first topics to be addressed include:

  •     “The six lessons I live by” by William Morris Endeavor Co-CEO Ari Emanuel
  •     “Impact of poverty on nutrition” by celebrity chef and author Marcus Samuelsson
  •     “It’s not just who you know, it’s what they know” by LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
  •     “It’s not about you: the truth about social media marketing” by Code for America adviser and O’Reilly Media CEO and founder Tim O’Reilly and so on..

The new move could entice users to spend more time on LinkedIn. LinkedIn, which had revenue of $522 million last year, makes money from selling ads and premium subscriptions, as well as from offering specialized services to recruiters.

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