“Algorithm” is a series of instructions that aim to perform computations or process data. It plays an important part in social media. A platform’s algorithms help it decide what content or who to recommend to you. But it is not as simple as that sounds.
Because algorithms are not so simple, some people misunderstand them. And that leads to myths about how they work. Consequently, that leads to controversies that the platform needs to face.
LinkedIn decided not to take any chances. Perhaps, the company has learned from what happened to Meta and decided it does not want that to happen to them. That’s a wise move – very on-character for a platform dedicated to serving professionals.
LinkedIn posted videos to clarify how their algorithms work. Who doesn’t want to get more Followers using the algorithm to the highest optimization level?
“Mythbusting the Feed”
LinkedIn, as we know, is the platform that professionals use. It is where they participate in enriching conversations around the world of work. Furthermore, it is the platform where they listen to diverse perspectives or connect with information relevant to their careers.
LinkedIn says its team is committed to elevating relevant and productive conversations that add value to the member experience. They also want to foster a sense of belonging and community and empower LinkedIn members.
The company says listening to its members is a key piece for achieving that. That will allow the team to know what LinkedIn users need and want from the network.
LinkedIn says one of the most requested things is more transparency. Users also desire to understand how the LinkedIn feed works. Aside from these, LinkedIn reports it received questions about what conversations are welcome on the platform. How LinkedIn addresses bias and what it does to serve certain communities are also some of the big questions.
LinkedIn decided to be its users’ genie and give them what they wish for. The platform posted videos explaining these things, so its users can better understand how the platform works.
LinkedIn started “Mythbusting the Feed” last March 25. It is a series of blog posts and on-platform content addressing the abovementioned questions. The company did it to provide greater insights into how its product works. On top of that, “Mythbusting the Feed,” as its name suggests, aims to address common misconceptions and assumptions.
LinkedIn says that the ultimate goal is to be transparent to its users about what they think about the feed and how the platform works.
What Topics Are Welcome on LinkedIn
As with other social media platforms, users can post anything on LinkedIn – for free. However, as is the case with other platforms as well, not all posts get equal visibility.
LinkedIn addressed this in one of the first videos in “Mythbusting the Feed.” The company stated that they welcome all sorts of conversations on the platform. However, they are preferential towards topics its users actually care about. LinkedIn says it likes conversations and content that are authentic to its users. At the same time, these topics and content should resonate with its users and make them feel connected to their communities.
From that, we can conclude that LinkedIn favors authentic content relatable to the people on a user’s network. This is LinkedIn we are talking about. So, that’s 100% discussions about work. That could range from tips to increase productivity to challenges people face at work.
LinkedIn also notes that posts from front-line workers about the challenges they face are rising. The company intentionally does this to bring visibility to these people because they deserve it. Things would not work now if not for them, and as long as the pandemic is not officially over, the world will continue to depend on them.
LinkedIn says the team also noticed conversations about things that are hard to talk about. That includes mental health and wellbeing. The company says it is looking for more ways to empower that. They want to make the platform a place where its users can talk about these things and feel safe.
Are All Posts Required to be About Work?
You went to LinkedIn to grow as a professional. It is the identity of the platform that separates itself from others. So, does that mean that posts and topics should strictly be professional?
LinkedIn says that is a common misconception. You should not post the same things you post on Facebook on LinkedIn. However, in some instances, personal and professional milestones overlap. It is acceptable when that happens, says LinkedIn’s VP for Engineering, Sabry Tozin. They believe that personal and professional growth are intertwined.
Suppose you have fear over something, and your work allowed you to overcome that. LinkedIn will not consider that off-topic and will still surface that post in the feed.
Sabry Tozin says not to limit conversations on LinkedIn to one topic or another. “Many of those things go hand in hand.”
As of this writing, these are the only two available videos in the “Mythbusting the Feed” series. But LinkedIn promises to release more in the upcoming weeks.
The company has already revealed what the other posts would be about. So, you can know what to expect.
“Mythbusting the Feed: How the Algorithm Works and Personalizing the Feed” is next. Then the final one is “Mythbusting the Feed: Content Distribution and How We Work to Address Bias.” These two topics, the first one especially, are what the users are more interested in. Users want more clarity on what causes their posts not to surface on the LinkedIn feed.
In the March 25 post, LinkedIn said that the team is always eager to hear from LinkedIn users. So, he encourages users to keep the feedback and questions coming.
The VP for Engineering also directed users to other resources, such as blogs about how the team keeps the feed relevant and productive.
Transparency is an important element that reveals whether or not you can trust a company. So, we encourage LinkedIn users to see the posts from “Mythbusting the Feed.” It will allow you to determine whether staying on the platform is worth it.