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  • 😬 Why LinkedIn Feels So “Cringe” & Might Go Under

😬 Why LinkedIn Feels So “Cringe” & Might Go Under

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Welcome to The Level Ups. Modern business news for the future business leader (explained in plain-Jane English).

You’re not the only one who thinks LinkedIn is cringey.

Today:

  • Why LinkedIn is the way it is.

  • The main culprits.

  • Is there any fixing it?

  • The LinkedIn opportunity.

Let’s go.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes & 50 seconds. 

The Problem (An Example)

LinkedIn is an incredible platform for finding work, closing clients, and expanding your career. The problem is how its online culture is so cringe that people don’t take it seriously as a content platform.

Some people do it right (but sadly, that’s rare). Most re-visit LinkedIn when it’s time to find a job.

LinkedIn’s content business is one good competitor away from having to shut down or make a pivot.

Here’s an example. One of the worst posts I’d ever seen on LinkedIn hit my feed the other day. It wasn’t one of those posts where every word.

Gets.

Its.

Own.

Line.

It was much worse.

A CEO of a marketing agency shared how he was letting go of 2 out of his 17 employees. He posted a picture of himself crying in front of the camera, saying everything was his fault. You can see the reflection of the ring light, ensuring we can see the tears.

I get that CEOs need to address bad PR. This was different. It’s attention-seeking. I’m all for accepting responsibility. But he’s creating the issue and then making it about himself publicly.

What’s wrong with helping those folks get another job and moving on?

Can I blame him? Yes. And I do. But the thing is: it’s not just about him. It’s about the platform. This is only one example of many.

Why LinkedIn Is Like This & The Main Culprits

Context:

  1. Twitter, IG, Snap, and TikTok are fun but not a direct line to your career (like LinkedIn). It’s hard to share fun content when it feels like one misstep could cost you your job.

  2. Microsoft owns LinkedIn. Talent Solutions (the most valuable dept) pays all of LinkedIn’s bills. It does over $6B a year (in revenue) selling HR and recruiting tools.

How good will the content be when users worry about saying the wrong thing, and HR runs the show? No surprises here. LinkedIn content can’t compete with TikTok.

Social media users are accustomed to entertaining content. That’s why I think it will fail as a content platform but flourish for recruiters and job seekers.

It already feels that way, but I expect a significant shift in 5 years. The content side of LinkedIn won’t get fixed. It’ll be replaced.

The good content, anything remotely funning or compelling, does well. This viral post creator is an example. There’s even a tab to adjust cringe levels.

The LinkedIn Opportunity

LinkedIn has 850M users (it’s massive). It doesn’t share daily users, but Snap is at 347M, and Twitter is at 238M. It’s safe to say they’re at least comparable (though LinkedIn could have more daily users).

While the content is cringey, it’s still an opportunity. That’s a lot of eyeballs on LinkedIn in a world where getting attention is very competitive.

So, what if professional content was decent? Would it warrant its own platform?

Looking at that user base and how easy it is for some things to go viral, my bet is yes. There will be a “professional platform” for content creators and consumers that replaces LinkedIn’s content business. LinkedIn ads do about $5B a year in revenue, by the way, so it’s worth it financially.

And as much as it upsets me, I think The Level Ups should be more active on LinkedIn (and its future replacement). Will I hate myself? Maybe. Time will tell.

Final Four:

A few things to check out:

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

Darwin

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