If you've used LinkedIn for more than a few months, you've probably noticed a gradual increase in the number of native blog posts appearing in LinkedIn Pulse, the site's newsfeed. Over the last year, the social network has made a push to become a content platform — and not just a place for users to share outbound links.
LinkedIn invited important business leaders from a variety of industries to become "LinkedIn Influencers," giving them access to the site's publishing platform as a place to discuss business topics like marketing, strategy, mobile, work-life balance, non-profits, and more. The site has also occasionally featured articles about different themes, from its series of posts offering hiring advice from entrepreneurs (which we wote about back in October) to a series in which business leaders like Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist) shared anecdotes about what they learned from their first jobs.
Now the site has decided to open its publishing platform to all LinkedIn members, creating a space for professionals from a variety of fields to share their unique business knowledge. In a blog post announcing the news, the company noted that opening the platform will serve two purposes: to offer LinkedIn users a new way to develop their brands, and to make the time users spend on LinkedIn more valuable by giving them access to an even wider array of knowledge. The company will open the platform in steps: initially a new group of 25,000 users will be able to publish content to the site, and that number will gradually increase until everyone can publish.
The change may make LinkedIn an even more important content marketing venue, especially for B2B content marketing. A November post on Oracle's Eloqua blog noted that many B2B marketers consider LinkedIn to be the most useful social network, since LinkedIn users are often decision makers and since the site already segments its users very effectively.
One possible result? Some companies may find it worthwhile to forgo Facebook and Twitter strategies and to place more emphasis on developing a social media strategy tailored specifically to LinkedIn.