• Matt Black

Lift Off! Why 'Voyager' is LinkedIn's Biggest Launch Yet

Apps have become modern day lifelines.


Consider this: in 2014, the way we do business changed forever when Internet usage on mobile exceeded desktop usage for the first time ever, with accessing content and information leading the way for reasons why.


With mobility empowering the workforce more than ever before, offering your customers (and employees!) a great experience with your brand on their smartphones is non-negotiable.


As somebody who spends a good hour or two on LinkedIn each day, my hopes were high when I first heard about ‘Voyager,’ in a presentation from CEO Jeff Weiner during Talent Connect Anaheim 2015. Aptly named after the 1972 NASA mission that sent a man-made spacecraft further than any other in history, the revamped app represents a dramatic overhaul from both functionality and design standpoints.


Things just work better and look slicker.


This idea of helping LinkedIn “[go] further than [they’ve] ever gone before” definitely intrigued me. Up to this point, I always felt as if I was on a weaker version of the desktop when I browsed LinkedIn on my smartphone. In fact, over time, I would rather wait to hop on my MacBook after-hours instead of using the app during my lunch.


That’s the opposite of what you want your customers or members doing in 2015.


Nonetheless, after spending a few days using ‘Voyager,’ I am happily immersed and excited to see how this new mobile experience impacts my efforts on LinkedIn. A quick watch of ‘The Making of the new LinkedIn app Project Voyager‘ should give you a sense as to how much energy and how many hours were spent in development.


Here’s why I feel this launch is a huge move for LinkedIn as we head towards 2016:


Ease of use

One of the first things I noticed after updating my LinkedIn app was the clean, new yet familiar interface.



The tabs along the bottom (“Home,” “Me,” “Messaging,” My Network” and “Search”) are responsive, nicely spaced and perhaps most importantly, give me quick access to what matters.


Looking to see how many connections shared your update? “Me” has got you covered.


Engaging in great conversation with a prospect or old colleague? “Messaging” keeps you in touch.


Clicking back and forth between the various tabs offers users a seemingly endless amount of options. Don’t sleep on the fact that the top of your screen will also offer you standard LinkedIn features you depend on daily. For instance, after clicking “Me,” you can access your profile for review or edits, check who has visited your profile and also offer stats on how many views your most recent update/share has received.


In my mind, the challenge for LinkedIn has always been trying to offer a mobile experience that contained the same depth as the desktop experience. Given how everything has been laid out and repackaged here in ‘Voyager,’ I’m quite satisfied that this has been accomplished.


With many of the improvements aimed at the overall experience, I genuinely feel LinkedIn will encourage their members to spend more time using the app, which will translate into appreciating the importance of the platform altogether.


Integration

There is a ton of content, engagement, knowledge and opportunity left on the table by so many LinkedIn members.


For instance…


Did you know that LinkedIn Pulse curates top stories of the day based on your industry, connections and other activity on the platform, and they’re available right at your fingertips?


Or how about Slideshare, which can provide you with presentations, infographics and other rich media all aimed at helping you grow as a professional?



While on the ‘Home’ screen, a simple tap on the upper right-hand corner reveals a seamless integration with other LinkedIn apps, like “Pulse,” “Slideshare,” “Groups” and “Job Search.”


This is a great addition, negating the need to actually open separate apps.


Allowing users to jump from one to the next within the LinkedIn flagship app will certainly increase my desire to explore the benefits of the entire menu, as opposed to sticking with the brand’s main bread and butter.


I tend to believe that many LinkedIn members either forget that these additional benefits are available to them, or they don’t quite understand how they enhance the experience. Integrating them directly into ‘Voyager’ increases the chances that users will explore them, and also highlights their importance. There’s also something to be said about the convenience that this offers members.


While only time will tell how their 400 million+ members will embrace the app, let me say this: LinkedIn has demonstrated a clear understanding that making their platform a part of daily professional life depends on them delivering an easy-to-use, seamless and enjoyable product.


What are your initial thoughts on LinkedIn ‘Voyager?’ Is there anything missing that you would have liked to see? Do you think this will increase the time you spend on LinkedIn each day? Please share your thoughts with me in the Comments section below.


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©2020 by Matt Black Ink | All rights reserved | Toronto