Check out this Buzzfeed article: LinkedIn Slashes Referral Traffic To Publishers
This means that LinkedIn used to send their users to other sites to read content, but it looks like LinkedIn is keeping it’s users/members inside of LinkedIn, not sending them out at all (or at least, a lot less than before).
This is what some would say is “does not play well with others.” Of course, there is no obligation for LinkedIn to send users anywhere… Buzzfeed is a company that was built by sites like Facebook where users would say “go read this cool article!”… to have their traffic from LinkedIn go down is kind of a big deal.
For me, the bigger deal is how LinkedIn is silo-ing itself from other websites. I’m not sure that Buzzfeed readers really care about LinkedIn, or that Buzzfeed does anything good for LinkedIn, but by not sending them any traffic they are, I think, separating them from a potential online heavyweight. Apparently they are pulling away from (or, using the word from the Buzzfeed writer: alienating) other sites too. Good on LinkedIn for not needing anyone else, I guess.
Here’s the other big deal: it seems that LinkedIn is decreasing it’s value in the professional networking space, and trying to reposition itself as a content play… like HuffingtonPost for business professionals. Perhaps it’s the smartest thing that LinkedIn can do, but doesn’t that change why you go there, and what you do there?
What does this mean for you? Are you going to go to LinkedIn for relationships (professional networking), content, or both, or neither?