Who’s Viewed Your Profile Update (LinkedIn)

March 20th, 2014 | by Jason Alba |

Andy Foote is a LinkedIn consultant… he just wrote a post titled How To Play “Who’s viewed your profile” On LinkedIn.  I’m linking to it here only because there are some changes… and maybe you want to be aware of them.

I still abhor (hate) this feature in LinkedIn. More on that below.  You can read Andy’s post to see what the changes are (if you care about the wvyp feature)… I want to address this part of his post:

What I have a problem with is the way that LinkedIn currently shares that information via WVYP. The ‘Who’ is totally misleading. Showing me that I have been viewed by Anonymous users is pointless. … Why does LinkedIn waste valuable screen estate on showing Anonymous browsers? Does anyone respond positively to being browsed by virtual ghosts?

Andy is right to ask these questions (and others in the post).  I hate this feature because first and foremost it gives people a false idea that someone is interested in, or has read, their profile.

At a recruiters conference years ago a recruiter was passionately sharing his dislike for a feature like this in another software system that supposedly told job seekers if he read their resume.  He was saying something along the lines of this: just because I opened your resume (file) doesn’t mean (a) I meant to, (b) I’m interested in you, (c) I gave it more than the 7 – 10 seconds I give all resumes on the first pass, (d) I liked it and wanted to learn more, etc.

Peeking, viewing, etc. does not mean there is real interest, and it doesn’t mean you should follow up with a “hey, I saw you read my resume! That’s great!”

That recruiter wanted some sense of privacy while doing his job, without being accountable to the 1,000 people who sent their resume in.

Same thing with a LinkedIn profile… I hate how people get so excited that someone has “viewed” their profile.  They all the sudden turn into the 10th grade girl hoping “that boy” will ask her to prom.

I think LinkedIn is preying on our natural tendencies to want to be noticed, and want to know more, and perhaps be ready for the moment “he” calls.

Oh, and it comes with a hefty monthly price tag.  This whole idea of getting the privilege to know who happened to be on our profile, for a milisecond, or maybe more… it’s as bad as the companies that depend on a clientele that only buys because they are addicted.

LinkedIn found user’s compelling addiction, and they are waiting with the cash register open.

Will knowing who viewed your profile really help you?  Usually not.  I’m sure there are some people who have gotten value out of it, contacted the person, etc.  But for the most part it’s not going to do anything for most people (or, most people aren’t going to do anything with the information).

I think this feature/bait is unethical.  Score one for the VCs.

That, my friends, is why you don’t see me write much about the WVYP feature.  If you really want a job, or business, or to close the deal, or whatever, go after it.  Don’t  stalk the people who might have “viewed” your profile.

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