LinkedIn Reactions: Have We Gone Too Far?

Where do we draw the line between LinkedIn and Facebook? LinkedIn has recently announced “reactions” for posts. Even though LinkedIn is known as a platform primarily for career-related content, this is similar to what Facebook offers. These reactions allow users to respond to add a like, celebrate, love, insightful and curious reaction to posts on their feed. LinkedIn’s official blog states that these reactions will be a new way for users to interact with others’ posts. It will also be a better way of gauging the impact it has on connections.

Look, I get the appeal and can understand the value in dropping a “celebrate” to congratulate someone on an accomplishment. Even leaving a “curious” if you’re interested in learning more about a particular topic or concept. But will this tip LinkedIn more toward a social platform rather than professional? Let’s dig into a little behind the scenes look at how these reactions came to be.

Researching the Right Words

After doing a little more research on the thought process behind LinkedIn reactions, I found that the people at LinkedIn decided reactions needed to fit 3 criteria in order to be appropriate for a business-related platform. They are:

  1. Reactions must be constructive to the poster in order to explain why someone liked the post and the impact it had on them.
  2. They must be universal so that all LinkedIn users across the globe can understand.
  3. Reactions must focus on meaningful interactions, rather than be merely superficial likes.

In order to decide which reactions would ultimately make the cut and be rolled out on LinkedIn, the people behind it studied thousands of 1-2 word comments to see what users were commenting on posts. The top 3 comments fitting these criteria were congratulations, congrats, and thanks. Various categories were made from these results to recognize the main feelings being expressed. These ultimately decided the official reactions that launched.

A Simpler Way to Interact

So reactions seem to make a lot of sense, right? By looking at the comments people are already adding to posts, it seems logical to simplify this process and make it into a one-step button to share your feelings. Users will be better able to gauge what their connections are interested in. They can then tailor the content they push out based on “insightful” and “curious” feedback from their audience. A simpler way for users to figure out what kinds of posts their followers want to see from them? Sign me up! I can see the major benefits of this feature for CPG companies testing out new products. I can also see the benefits for consulting firms gauging interest in the needs of potential clients.

The Negative Side of Reactions

On the negative side, this could take away some of the professionalism of LinkedIn. Adding reactions start to make the platform feel a bit more casual. Even though it is an attempt at getting more meaningful engagement, reactions could have the opposite effect. Commenting could potentially be replaced as reactions are utilized more and more. Another aspect that might need further attention involves LinkedIn’s research. The most commonly used words were made up of LinkedIn suggested comments. This means that people could have just been using them because of their ease of use, instead of actually feeling like it was the best response.

With this new feature, it definitely seems like LinkedIn is looking for ways to better appeal to the younger crowd. What are your thoughts on LinkedIn adding new reactions to posts? Do you think this is a progressive strategic move for the platform or is LinkedIn trying too hard to be like Facebook, removing the professional aspect? Whatever your thoughts may be, reactions are coming in hot and we can expect to see them popping up on our accounts here in the next few weeks.

Let me know your reaction to this article! Also, if you would ever like to learn more or get help with your own LinkedIn, feel free to contact us. Cya!

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