Are newsletters démodé? This month, both Meta Platforms and Twitter shuttered their respective newsletter products as these tech companies cut costs, including shutting down products for creators, after overspending during the tech boom. LinkedIn’s newsletter network, on the other hand, LinkedIn, is seeing substantial growth.
According to the Microsoft-owned social network, 53 million people subscribe to 213 million newsletters, an increase in total subscriptions of four times from a year ago. There are about 63,000 newsletters on LinkedIn, a tenfold increase since last year.
LinkedIn’s edge over other forms of newsletters – beside the fact that bigtech competitors are now out of the water – is that it goes beyond just email reach, which is the typical distribution medium for newsletters. In addition, writers can reach readers through LinkedIn’s main feed and notifications. This also means that subscribers will also receive notifications when new editions are published.
“You’re not just reliant on email,” Keren Baruch, LinkedIn’s director of product management, who oversees newsletters, said in an interview this week. “Your content is really able to reach your audience in a very streamlined way.”
Newsletter writers on LinkedIn include well-known public figures such as Melinda Gates and Ariana Huffington, publishers such as The Economist and professionals-turned-creators such as Kwame Christian, the CEO of a negotiation consulting firm, who writes a newsletter called “Negotiate Anything!”
As a result, LinkedIn is even upping its algorithm and various features for users. Starting February 11, users will be able to see which newsletters others find interesting, similar to how they can see users’ interests, pages and groups. It also announced a one-click subscribe link writers can use on LinkedIn or other social media accounts. And it made it easier to find newsletters in LinkedIn’s search results and to customise articles to better show up in other site’s search results.
In regards to creator and writer benefits, LinkedIn’s newsletter is missing some of the perks other standalone publishers offer, mainly paid subscriptions or advertising tools. That means creators will have to find their own ways to earn money, such as by going to advertisers directly. Baruch has defended this by saying that creators have earned consulting and partnership opportunities through their newsletters. Another low point for creators is that unlike other newsletter services such as Substack or Meta’s since-shuttered Bulletin, LinkedIn’s writers do not own their email list, meaning it would be difficult for them to take their audiences and move to a competing service.