I continue to be excited by many of the LinkedIn changes, features and future promises, such as;
Profile view change to enhance your personal brand – Ooops I think LinkedIn did it again – read about it here
Active status in messaging so you know when someone is on LinkedIn – How to professionally stalk someone – read about that here
Public posts where you can go beyond LinkedIn and get found on Google – 3 Must Use Features – read about it here
So I was particularly excited when I heard about the ‘Nearby’ feature on mobile. Basically the idea is that when you are at a conference or perhaps a networking event (although not one of the Linked Local ones because they don’t want you doing things like this or bring business cards – what’s that about??!!) you can check who else in your network might be nearby.
LinkedIn in their ‘Help’ section effuses;
“We’re constantly exploring new ways to help you maximize the benefits of LinkedIn. One of the features that we’re excited to be working on is the ability to find other LinkedIn members that are nearby, using your mobile device.
This feature will provide you with opportunities to network with other LinkedIn members by quickly finding and connecting with people around you at conferences, events and more in your proximity.”
I have seen quite a few people on LinkedIn raving and getting excited about this feature. So I decided to give it a try in two places where I thought there would definitely be some LinkedIn users.
First at a professional development day, with my mastermind colleagues. I switched on the feature, sitting right next to 3 people I am connected to and at least 5 others in the audience and……nothing.
Second on the GO train going into Toronto in rush hour. Not sure anyone in the carriage was a connection but switched on the feature, sitting with at least 250 other people and……nothing.
But there could be a reason as LinkedIn Help goes on to explain;
“For your privacy, you’ll need to opt-in to use this feature and you’ll only be discoverable when you are on the Find Nearby page. LinkedIn doesn’t track, monitor, or store your precise location data.”
In other words you both have to have the feature turned on as the default is off AND you have to be on the specific page on the mobile app, so there are no notifications.
This is like going into a networking event blindfolded, trying to find others you know but neither of you know whether you are there and you cannot shout out their name you can only find them if you both touch each other at the same time!!
The idea of this feature has been developed in other apps but having one built into LinkedIn makes a lot of sense. It’s the default settings and way the feature works that make it next to useless right now. Sadly LinkedIn’s general way of operating is if something is not getting used they tend to drop it versus spend more time on it, which in this case would be a shame. hopefully they don’t. In the meantime you will just have to resort to shouting!
If you still want to try the feature they have all the details for both iOS and Android on the Help pages here. Happy hunting!