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The Strategy Room

What the New LinkedIn Profile Filters Say about Its Future

By: Emily Wenstrom

3 Hints at LinkedIn's Future

Last week, LinkedIn introduced new features to edit and modify profile pictures. Some of these were pretty standard, like the ability to clip a photo, and additional ways to give users more control over how their image presents from the profile page.

But the feature getting the most buzz is the introduction of photo filters—a feature that may have some traditionalists saying, “but why?” while younger professionals are saying, “it’s about time.”

Truth is, the updates themselves are pretty minor—and those who don’t care about filters can simply take a pass on using them.

The bigger deal is what’s between the lines of this announcement. Here are three key implications of where LinkedIn is headed, beyond your next selfie:

The future of social is visual

Snapchat is not the only network betting on an increasingly visual future. The more important images become, the more important it is for users to be able to modify, perfect and play with those images.

Social is growing more casual

Social networks have made online culture more DIY, and these new tools are intended to help you keep looking your best online, even if your friends aren’t gifted with a camera. “It doesn’t have to be perfect,” the how-to explains. “It just has to show who you are.”

We’re making networks more mobile

The entire photo filter demo video is done from a smartphone. This is no accident—as mobile devices become more varied and normalized, more and more web traffic happens on mobile devices. So this is LinkedIn signaling that they’re ready for you.

This is only the latest in a string of updates LinkedIn has made in 2017. In January, the network updated its profile layout. And at the beginning of March, it revamped the ad manager interface.

Keep an eye on this network—historically buttoned-up, the platform may finally be taking the big steps necessary to modernize.




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