LinkedIn to add industry-relevant news

By Wailin Wong
Posted March 10 at 12:24 p.m.

LinkedIn, the online network that connects professionals, unveiled a “social news product” Thursday that provides members with the top news in their industry circles.

Using social networks as an arbiter of personally relevant information is nothing new in the online world, where sites such as StumbleUpon, Reddit and Digg help members sift through the vast amount of content on the Web, from news articles to videos to blog posts. Sharing links and commenting on content is also a major part of what Facebook and Twitter users do on those networks.

Mountainview, Calif.-based LinkedIn is putting its own spin on this concept by focusing on news that is relevant to someone’s professional life. Liz Walker, a LinkedIn product manager, called LinkedIn Today “a professional news product (that) delivers the top stories you need to know to be informed on your industry.”

LinkedIn Today launched with 22 industries such as Internet, real estate and non-profit. The front page of the product is tailored to individual members based on what their LinkedIn networks are sharing, with the ability to see who has shared or commented on a news story. The service allows deeper filtering by other variables such as geography or first-degree connections. LinkedIn also introduced a companion app for the iPhone that syncs with the Web.

“We actually think this is just the beginning,” said Walker, adding that she envisions future versions of LinkedIn Today that can sort news by title or job description to answer questions such as “What are CEOs reading?” or “What are healthcare professionals in India reading?”

LinkedIn has more than 90 million members, with more than half of them based outside the U.S.

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