LinkedIn is building a new version of its Groups platform used by many social media managers and marketers and is set to launch it at the end of August. The company sent an email this week to Group managers outlining coming changes, along with functionalities that will be unavailable as they roll out the latest updates.
“We’ve heard from many of you over the past year that boosting engagement and enabling vibrant discussions in your groups is important, so we’ve prioritized those features that support this,” said LinkedIn’s notification email.
New features for LinkedIn Groups
As part of the updates, LinkedIn is integrating Groups content into the main LinkedIn website and mobile apps, giving more visibility and accessibility to Group discussions. Group admin roles will also be able to manage Groups on both the iOS and Android versions of the LinkedIn app.
In the new version, members and admins can reply to comments, edit posts and comments and post native video to Groups, as well as interact within Group discussions directly in the main LinkedIn feed (versus going to the Group page). Notifications about Group activities and conversations are also coming.
According to LinkedIn, it tried out Group notifications earlier this year to see if it impacted member engagement in discussions and found that “thousands more members” participated daily in groups during the tests, either by posting, commenting or liking discussions.
No more moderators, moderation queues or auto-generated emails
In addition to building out new features, LinkedIn is also removing a few. The LinkedIn Groups “moderator” role will be going away, leaving only “owners” and “managers” roles within the system — LinkedIn says moderators will be downgraded to regular members once the new platform is in place, and that anyone needing access to manage a Group who is currently listed as a moderator should be promoted to a manager.
During the migration to the new platform, LinkedIn did warn users that moderation queues will be temporarily unavailable, as well as admin and auto-generated group emails — including digests, automated templates and announcements. A LinkedIn spokesperson said Group admins will have access to moderation tools for blocking and removing group members, with the new version rolling out in the coming weeks — but the newly built moderation queue won’t be available for the next few months.
Regarding the admin and auto-generated group emails going away, the LinkedIn spokesperson said the company is working on building improved communication channels for admins but did not offer a time frame or details around future communication tools to replace the existing models.
Kyle Pouliot, Marketing Land’s own social media manager and the person responsible for managing SMX Conference content on Linkedin, says his biggest concern about the coming changes was the removal of the admin and auto-generated group emails.
“Losing that touch point for our group members, more specifically, our conference groups during ticket milestone dates, puts us at a disadvantage given the effectiveness of email. Do I have faith that notifications will fill this void as a replacement? It’s a possibility, but there might be a learning curve for how our group members can find that information,” says Pouliot.
LinkedIn says the new Groups platform will begin rolling out to members globally on desktop and mobile at the end of this month and that Groups will be automatically migrated to the new platform.