LinkedIn announced Wednesday that its publishing platform, which up to this point has been limited to just 500 “influencers” including Barack Obama and Richard Branson, will open up to the masses.
LinkedIn’s Publisher Platform is the user-facing component to what has become a robust media arm at LinkedIn, largely propelled by its acquisition of news-reading app Pulse, and its content often feeds into daily news aggregator LinkedIn Today. The platform, which allows users to connect and share content with others, is part of LinkedIn’s strategy to grow the frequency with which users interact on the website. The staged roll-out will provide access for roughly 25,000 users on LinkedIn, with the goal of a global roll-out within a few months.
In addition, LinkedIn now allows users to follow people who are not in their network and build their own group of followers. It’s a grassroots way for users to become influencers on the platform, even if they’re not Suze Orman or Bill Gates.
Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn’s head of content products, told TechCrunch ,”We do this because we want LinkedIn to be the place where members can become productive, successful professionals – not just when you’re trying to find a job, or search for another person.”
LinkedIn’s publishing platform does face competition: In the last few months, some users have turned to sites like Medium to publish content about a variety of topics, including business. While LinkedIn does benefit from having its name attached to the product (and therefore an added layer of legitimacy for corporate entities), it will have to work to get those eyeballs away from websites that have already established themselves in the field.