I published an article on all the changes to LinkedIn Notifications four weeks ago. Two weeks after I published the article, LinkedIn made one more change…a big one. So I took down the “old” article, and have rewritten it here, adding the new information (thanks to all who read, shared, commented and liked that article).
First of all, there are two terms that need to be understood: articles and posts. An “article” is written by clicking on “Write an article” at the top of your homepage feed. This takes you to LinkedIn publisher. Articles tend to be longer form content and LinkedIn publisher has more options for formatting and presenting your content. A “post” is short form content written after clicking “Share a post, article or update” at the top of the homepage feed. As often seems to be the case with LinkedIn, this can get semantically weird. For example if you take this article of mine that you are reading and share it, my shared article becomes your post.
Here are the types of notifications you will now receive:
LinkedIn parses these out piecemeal over the course of the month, as for most us, dumping all fifty or five hundred people who have an anniversary this month in one notification would be overwhelming.
These are the jobs you may be interested in, based on LinkedIn’s algos.
Activity on your articles
These are Likes and Comments on your article. And a word about Likes. Likes are wonky in the new format. You are given less information (just the name, headline, and a photo) than we used to receive.
In these “activity on your articles” notifications, you are also offered the link to see who’s viewed your article, which brings up the new but not improved statistics for your article.
Activity on your posts
Likes and comments on your posts. And again, you are offered the link to see who’s viewed your post which takes you to the new hokey unusable statistics.
Activity on your post comments
This includes: People who liked your comment
People who liked your reply to someone else’s comment
Someone liked a comment that mentions you
People who also replied to a comment you replied to
Posts you were mentioned in
This includes: Someone mentioned you in a post
Someone mentioned you in a comment on a post
Someone liked a post that mentioned you (this is brutal. Makes for a lot of notifications)
Activity on posts you were mentioned in
This includes: Someone mentioned you in a comment or reply on a post
Someone liked a comment that mentioned you
Who my connections are following
There seems to be a bit of misdirection here, as the only notifications I seem to get so far are new people who are following me. Once a day I receive a list of any new followers I have. What’s alarming about this is that this is the only place in the new User Interface where there is any reference to my followers at all. I have approximately seven hundred followers. I know who the four are that followed me yesterday and the two from the day before. The rest of my followers? No way of knowing.
Who viewed your profile
Notifications that seem gone or are “to be determined”
New endorsements from your connections
A low level priority it seems. I see these occasionally.
Someone you follow has published an article
Rare. At least for me. I have had the new User Interface for about ten weeks now and have received one notification for a connection who has published an article. And I have a lot of connections who post every week. So out of several thousand possible notifications for this type of event I have received…one.
You receive no notifications when people share your post – unless the sharer mentions you. I think people who share my posts are the single most important engagement opportunity on LinkedIn. Either this is a mistake LinkedIn will rectify, or LinkedIn doesn’t think sharing is important anymore. In which case they need to change the Social Selling Index, as sharing is a critical part of the SSI.
Three takeaways from all of changes to Notifications
1) Notifications are now highly configurable. Hurray.
You now have the ability to turn any of the eleven types of notifications on or off. At the top right of any notification is a tool wheel (some people have three little horizontal lines with circles in them – equalizers? sliders? hamburgers gone bad?). Clicking on the tool wheel allows you to turn this type of notification on or off.
Here’s what the list of notification I have turned off looks like:
2) Mentions are insidious
This is the biggy. Mentions/tagging now rule the roost. Mentioning someone in a post, or in a comment on a post, or someone liking a post or a comment that mentions you, generates a notification, and these notifications seem to supersede all others.
A lot of LinkedIn users are already sick and tired of the mention feature, as it has already become the new way to Spam people on LinkedIn.
3) Notifications are still not there yet.
LinkedIn has consolidated some types of notifications into once a day types. This is good. LinkedIn will also consolidate your likes and comments for a particular post into one notification (as in “Bob Smith and twelve others liked or commented on your post”). This is also good.
There appears to be a hierarchy of notifications. Mentions are on top, along with likes and comments on your posts. Notifications for new posts by people you are connected with or follow are on the bottom and get lost. This is bad
Two practical suggestions for managing Notifications
Think twice before commenting or replying to comments on other people’s posts, especially posts that you can see already have a lot of likes or comments. Further activity on these posts will generate a lot of notifications. I am not saying you shouldn’t engage this way of course, just be sure you really do want to wade into a busy discussion. Your actions will have consequences that may wind up irritating you.
Hide notifications that you are not interested in seeing. In my case, I dumped birthdays, work anniversaries and jobs you may be interested in.
In closing, what LinkedIn has done with Notifications is good. Not perfect, but moving in the right direction.
Like quite a few aspects of the new User Interface, notifications have been cleaned up and made to look more presentable, which is good for the occasional user. And the ability to turn off any combination of the eleven different types of notifications is a welcome addition. However, issues such as not being notified about people who have shared your content and connections who have published articles remain. And while this is not notifications specific, it is notifications related: for us power users, we would like to have more control over what we see in our home page feed (I will have a bit of fun with this idea Thursday).
Notifications are still a work in progress – for example LinkedIn hasn’t decided between the tool wheel and the equalizer. So maybe I will see you for another update in four weeks.
This article originally appeared on my blog, www.practicalsmm.com