26. April 2012–
LinkedIn knows it has to ditch the dull-but-worthy image and become a daily part of users' lives - and this week's slick new iPad app might just do the trick.
Apparently, LinkedIn's 150 million-strong user base makes it difficult to overhaul the site's clunky design. Enter this week's iPad app. Like LinkedIn's other new mobile apps, the iPad version features lovely clean design and hot new functions that should help the network pull - and retain - a younger, more social crowd.
New LinkedIn calendar function
The obvious standout is the new calendar function, now also available for Android and iPhone. Sync your work calendar with the mobile app and it'll give you the profile info (including mutual contacts) for everyone you're scheduled to meet with - very useful for those on the go or without a lackey to prepare a briefing for them.
The app's main screen has three options: updates, profile and inbox. 'Updates' is effectively a social news aggregator, pulling together top news, what colleagues are sharing, and who's changing jobs. LinkedIn's analysis shows iPad users are active for two main sessions - "coffee" (6-9am) and "couch" (7-11pm). The aim is to pull users in for both, then again (particularly with the calendar function) during the day.
Taking aim at rivals
Mobile is LinkedIn's fastest growing service, drawing in 22 per cent of weekly users versus 8 per cent back in early 2011. LinkedIn needs to keep those users satisfied to keep its edge over rivals such as Xing, BranchOut, hosted on Facebook and already up to 25 million users, and Facebook itself. The iPad app's a great start - will it be enough?
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