Tuesday, March 15, 2011

LinkedIn launches its own news aggregation service

The professional social network website Linkedin is getting in the aggregated news business. The beta news page, called LinkedIn Today, is available to registered members through a new tab option on their home page found under the "More" option.
The news page is fairly buried for now, but LinkedIn has included it as part of its iPhone app, and no doubt a tablet version might be right around the corner (though one can easily access the feature through the iPad's Safari browser and simply going to the Linkedin website). Stories saved online on the LinkedIn website are then available on the iPhone app, using the Instapaper model.

(I didn't see a LinkedIn Android app in the Android Market, though I know a beta version has been talked about -- has this been released?)
The LinkedIn news feature allows users to customize their news categories. But like a lot of the aggregated apps out there, like Flipboard and Zite, I find the idea of aggregated news through social networking sites and RSS feeds far from satisfying, though clearly many others are OK with them.

Editors at traditional news outlets will not find the promotional video below very funny, however.

"LinkedIn Today delivers today's top headlines that matter to people in your industry. These headlines aren't curated by an editor, but are based on what people in these industries are sharing on LinkedIn and Twitter," the video brags.

LinkedIn's news page continues a trend of aggregating content from online news sources, then presenting them in a new layout. The stories do link directly back to the source of the news, which so far, at least, has prevented the news media from shutting down their RSS feeds to prevent such aggregation.

LinkedIn has also just announced today on their blog that they are working with Snaptu on their own app for feature phones, servicing that shrinking, but still large segment of the cellular phone business.

“The Snaptu platform provides the complete technical and distribution structure to help publishers and service owners massively expand their mobile user base and unravel the immense monetization potential in the global market. We are delighted LinkedIn has joined the likes of Facebook and ESPN to offer an outstanding user experience to all mobile users, regardless of their device,” Snaptu CEO Ran Makavy wrote on Snaptu's website blog.