Popular business social site LinkedIn is trying to reinvigorate its mobile side. The company launched a redesigned app Thursday for keeping people connected, replacing its previous Contacts app.
Users of the Contacts app, which was released in 2013, will be prompted to upgrade. On iTunes, the company describes the Connected app as "a fast, easy, and smarter way to strengthen your professional relationships," and calls it a "reimagined and redesigned version" of Contacts. An Android version is being developed, as are international versions.
The central function of the new app is to provide updates about business connections. The idea is that information about new job titles, news mentions, birthdays/work anniversaries or other significant information could prove useful when heading into a meeting. There are also reminders to connect with people encountered in a recent meeting. Contacts and calendars can be synced with Connected, and users can be pinged by optional notifications and reminders before meetings begin.
'One of the Surprises'
The information is displayed in a card format, and actions by the user can include a "like," a comment or a phone call. However, users are not able to perform other LinkedIn functions via the mobile app, such as making profile changes or searching for jobs.
Brad Shimmin, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, told us that LinkedIn has become "one of the surprises following the dot-com bubble bursting," in that it has been an important tool for businesses.
Although a kind of social network , he said the site hasn't tried "to be like Facebook or Twitter, but has stayed with information and professional connections." As a group, Shimmin noted that "professionals are very mobile," and an informational app for that on-the-go population, who might "rely on understanding someone's role in an organization," could prove useful.
Job Search App
As many as 40 percent of LinkedIn's 300 million members are on mobile devices, so getting mobile right is key to the site's health. Last month, the company launched a mobile Job Search app for iOS devices.
In a blog posted announcing the job app, LinkedIn pointed out research indicating that applicants applying for a job the first day it's posted have a 10 percent greater chance of getting the position.
"The next time you're in line for a coffee or stuck waiting for a delayed flight, why not jump start your job search from your phone?" the company suggested. Not to mention the fact, as LinkedIn notes, that it "can be hard to search for a job while you're at your desk."
The job app allows for Advanced Search of job openings by title, location, company, industry or seniority. A LinkedIn engine will surface new job opportunities, based on saved searches, jobs viewed, and the LinkedIn profile. There are also functions to keep tabs on jobs of interest, and to let the user know when saved jobs are ready to expire or when a recruiter has viewed an application .