LinkedIn have announced a brand new line up of mobile apps and for the first time ever, they are worth getting excited about!
I will be reviewing the excellent new iPad app soon, this piece however is focussed on their brand new LinkedIn Intro app for the iPhone.
Firstly let me apologise to all of you who are Android or Windows mobile users (or anything else). This product is currently focussed on iOS only and because it is built into the Mail app, I am not sure when or if it will be available on other platforms - LinkedIn didn't mention anything about this in their presentation.
Apparently the average professional spends 28% of their day dealing with email, this seems an astonishing fact at first but when you think about it you might find you can relate to it....to be honest I'm probably spending more than that in my email! Another fascinating fact revealed by LinkedIn was that more than 50% of emails are read on a mobile device these days and that number is increasing.
LinkedIn are increasingly focussed on mobile so it made sense to introduce an app that links your LinkedIn account to your email account.
In 2012 They acquired a business called Rapportive which is a Gmail plugin that shows you the latest social network updates from whoever you’re corresponding with. I have been using Rapportive for 18 months or so and found it very useful when dealing with emails at my desk but like most people I am increasing managing email on my phone so I have found I am using Rapportive less and less.....Enter LinkedIn Intro.
Intro is integrated into your Mail so that instead of an email looking like this;
It now looks like this;
The key difference as you can see is that the LinkedIn profile of the sender is now embedded into the email itself.
If you are not connected to this person there is a link (see arrow below) which gives you the option to connect. DON'T CLICK here! As with all mobile apps, LinkedIn just send the recipient the basic and unfriendly "I'd like to add you to my professional network message" which is poor practice.
However when you click on the profile link you get to see more information from that individual's profile (see below). How cool is that?
It's not just clever and cool, it's really useful. How often do we receive emails from people who we don't really know? This way we can check out more information about them which allows us to respond more effectively.
Of course this also has an effect on the sender in that it yet again proves just how important your LinkedIn profile is. If you need help with that click here.
I had forgotten how much I missed using Rapportive until I started using Intro today, its fantastic!
Unfortunately it's not perfect, I have noticed some emails have an intro link that is so small you can't really read it! See example below;
This above screenshot is larger than it appears on the phone and even then its difficult to read! I can only assume this is something to do with the format of the email and may be fixed in future updates, lets hope so.
So if you have an iPhone, open your browser of choice (Safari perhaps) and go to intro.linkedin.com, follow the installation instructions and once you have had a play, let me know what you think.