RIP, LinkedIn Answers

First, it was the Events App and now, it’s LinkedIn Answers:  now sleeping with the fishes, Amazon Reading List and TripIt.  Boo.

Many were unfamiliar with this handy feature to begin with because LinkedIn kept it well hidden under the sneaky “More” tab on the horizontal nav bar.  The LinkedIn Events App met a similar fate, relegated to the depths of the “More” tab where it languished.  LinkedIn failed to promote these valuable tools to its users and has announced that it will unplug the feature on January 31 – presumably due to lack of engagement from its members.  Duh.

For those who are unfamiliar with the now-defunct LinkedIn Answers it was a boon to anyone who needed an answer on a variety of professional topics.  Professionals could tap others outside their network for information and resources.  In fact, during presentations I’ve delivered in the past, I have even cited LinkedIn Answers as one of the platforms best-kept secrets.  LinkedIn members could post a question on any topic and receive answers and advice from fellow members – regardless of whether or not the members were connected.  Those who posted questions could then rate the answers and even name one respondent as an “Industry Expert.”  Who doesn’t want that characterization associated with their name?

According to LinkedIn, “We’ll be focusing our efforts on the development of new and more engaging ways to share and discuss professional topics across LinkedIn. In the meantime, you can still pose questions and facilitate professional discussions through other popular LinkedIn channels including LinkedIn Polls, Groups, or status updates.”  What LinkedIn fails to acknowledge here, however, is that discussions and status updates most often don’t reach outside a member’s network.  That was the beauty of Answers – one could ask a question of any network participant:  not just like-minded Group members or connections who shared similar interests and industry experience.

My prediction:         Polls will be next on the list of these LinkedIn eulogies

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