LinkedIn's New Publishing Platform--What's in it For Users?

Yesterday when I logged onto LinkedIn, I noticed that I'd been granted access to the new publishing feature. Of course I was curious so I reposted a post from this blog using their platform and clicked "publish" and waited for some kind of magic to happen. As I'm sure you can imagine, it didn't.

LI editor.PNG

A few observations about the new publishing feature:

  • The functionality is decent--you can do basic formatting and embed Slideshare presentations or videos, as well as add images. You can't, however, pull an image from a url...but I guess that would be asking a bit much from a platform that's not primarily a content management system. You can save posts as drafts and also preview before publishing. There is no html edit functionality...not surprising since this is geared towards people who probably don't already publish elsewhere and probably have no idea how to edit html anyway.
  • The analytics are confusing. The post I published has 27 "followers"--or I guess my profile has 27 followers. No idea what that term means. It then shows a little eye icon to represent views, a thumbs-up for likes, and a comment bubble for comments. The stats seem to be by the post, not aggregate...but I've only posted once, so maybe at some point there are aggregate views somewhere. It's a little confusing trying to navigate to the analytics--the only way to access it seems to be through "create a new post"--then on the right sidebar there's a link  "see your posts and stats."
  • The post has gotten 22 views and 2 likes in 24 hours. Even though my blog doesn't get a ton of traffic, it at least gets more than 22 views. Not sure it will be worth the time posting content to LinkedIn if I can get more traffic posting on my own blog.
  • Not sure what the value prop is supposed to be for individuals. I get that it's good for LinkedIn to get people creating and posting content to their site--that's a lot of free content from "experts" and they hope that it will boost their lagging traffic. The only advantage as far as users go seems to be that posts published from their platform are added to your LinkedIn profile, which is not the case for posts of your own that you share as status updates. Not sure it's worth the extra step of republishing content to their platform just to have it added to your LinkedIn profile, but maybe I'm wrong.
  • I'm not sure if the feature will be added to company pages--so far, it's not there for the pages I manage. Again, I don't see how it would be beneficial to publish original content on LinkedIn's platform as opposed to publishing the content on their own site then posting the link as a status update.
  • I think this could be good for people who don't have their own blogs, but you're then just giving your content to LinkedIn for free to boost their page views; in my opinion you're better off just creating your own blog and using LinkedIn updates as one way of generating traffic back to your own site.

What do you think--have you tried the new publishing feature? Am I missing anything, or just plain wrong about anything?