ADOTAS – Well, the headline pretty much says it all, but if you want more detail: As announced this morning on the LinkedIn blog, in much the same way as a Facebook user can “like” a brand page and receive updates about that brand in his or her news feed, now a LinkedIn user can follow a brand page and receive corresponding updates on his or home page. (We could compare it to whatever Google+ does, too, but we figured it’d be more useful to just make a comparison to a social network people actually use.) Companies have been able to create brand pages on LinkedIn since 2010. Currently, LinkedIn boasts 150 million users and 2 million networked companies.
While a function like the one LinkedIn announced today is analogous to features of other social media sites, it should be interesting to observe what brands might hope to gain from being followed and what users do with the information they receive from brands they follow. LinkedIn is a network for the people you know from your professional life, and as such it has a more reserved tone overall than Facebook, Twitter and Google+ — and its interface doesn’t open itself up to the kind of real-time hanging out as those other networks do. Considering the LinkedIn audience, following and being followed on that network has a lot more to do with upholding a PR presence than it has with commerce directly.