Am I the only one who has noticed that LinkedIn is almost cool again? I myself was spurred and inspired to get back on the platform after almost a year of radio silence.
Firstly, let me justify my radio silence. I work as a full time music artist. It is essentially a business that I run on my own and I’m building my own network. I also work as a content creator (under my music artist profile) and a copywriter. In addition, I have been building activity on Twitter and familiarizing myself with the future of web3.
Until a couple of days ago, the only job of the above mentioned on my LinkedIn was the work I do here, for Wishu, as a copywriter and community associate. I didn’t mention the other things because they didn’t feel ‘corporate’ enough. For some reason, on Monday night, I said ‘screw it I’m going to add all these independent jobs to my LinkedIn’. If anything, it will showcase how much of a business-minded multitasker I am.
What may have spurred this decision was that pon visiting the platform as a passive user for the first time in months, LinkedIn’s whole vibe just seemed…cooler than usual. Perhaps even less corporate thus eliminating my creative imposter syndrome.
Previously, compared to the likes of Instagram, TikTok and even The Dots, where I felt I could post a music video BTS of me looking like a ‘hot girl’ without a worry, LinkedIn always felt like the buttoned-up older cousin—the one who gets into a better college, who your mother is always asking you to be more like. The one who doesn’t post bikini Reels to her latest song… It’s always been the professional’s platform and, to be frank, kind of boring. And we accepted it all the same.
To be fair, the networking platform, a delineation the Microsoft-owned site is keen to maintain, has welcomed looser conversation and engagement—a more social approach. LinkedIn began this embrace pre-COVID, but doubled down as the lines between work and life blurred and people increasingly shared more personal experiences during the pandemic.
However, over the past couple of months, several publications and Internet accounts alike have commented on how LinkedIn is entering its ‘cringe era’ which is thus responsible for this change of the platform’s tone. The site isn’t to blame per se, but as it’s played faster and looser with the “professional” in professional networking, some users’ posts and content has become arguably unhinged. Exhibit A: the company leader who posted about the death of a colleague saying, “Phil died doing what he loved…networking and promoting our brand.” I mean… come on.
As a result, LinkedIn now often leaves us questioning what exactly we’re supposed to be doing and posting there. Do we write 200-word posts detailing the specifics of our layoff? Do we spill coworker drama? Talk about a personal trauma like a parent dying or chronic illness diagnosis—relating it to work, obviously?
Perhaps there’s never been a better time for a social media network dedicated to work to thrive. The Great Resignation, quiet quitting, remote and hybrid work, and what seems to be a never-ending run of layoffs pushing tens of thousands of workers back into the job market have given way to even more takes and opinions. In all scenarios, LinkedIn is arguably a great place to hang out when you’re thinking about your career.
“LinkedIn is a vibrant and trusted community where professionals can have great conversations, and build their audience in a relevant professional context with direct access to brands, other professionals, and institutions,” LinkedIn editor in chief Dan Roth wrote in an email to Fortune. “The difference is we are not about creation for the sake of entertainment.”
In a way, this statement is refreshing for me to hear as a music artist and content creator who often gets asked to create and do things for free for the sake of entertainment. If I connect with someone on LinkedIn, I’m 99% sure that it will lead to a monetised opportunity.
Furthermore, LinkedIn doubled down, rebranding its own breed of influencer and investing more in supporting “creators” on the site. It also added more video features, which arguably any good social media platform would need in 2023. It says the adoption of new tools like newsletters has prompted more people to share their insights, up 10 times year over year.
Clearly this new era is working for LinkedIn with the platform saying it sees more than 8 million posts and comments across the site daily, and has experienced a 40% increase in engagement with content from July 2021 to 2022.