New Zealand becomes LinkedIn testbed

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 09:21 24/08/2012
LinkedIn

CHAIN GANG: LinkedIn's Kiwi users are the first to test out its new 'endorse' feature.

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Social networking service LinkedIn has joined Facebook in using New Zealand as a testbed to check the appeal of new features.

LinkedIn, which is mainly used by professionals to network and job-hunt, hopes to make it more common for members to "endorse" other members, by making it easier for them to back-up claims about their skills.

Spokeswoman Tara Commerford said it was first time the company had used New Zealand to test a new feature.

"New Zealand is one of the most connected communities in the world. Given the highly social and viral nature of this product, it made a lot of sense to test it in this market. If this model provides positive results, we may consider this approach for other products.

"When you go to the profile of a 'first degree connection', you'll see a module that suggests skills you can endorse with one click," Commerford said.

"After you endorse someone, you'll also be prompted with a module that makes it easy to endorse skills for multiple connections at once. You will also receive an email digest when someone you know has endorsed a skill on your profile and see an update to your LinkedIn update stream when someone you are connected with is endorsed."

The feature was "not a final product" and LinkedIn had no details on whether and when it might be offered outside New Zealand.

LinkedIn had 175 million members, including 600,000 in New Zealand, she said.

Facebook used New Zealand to test a controversial feature that let its members pay $2 to make their posts more visible to others shortly before its troubled US$16 billion sharemarket float in May.

The trial was first reported by Fairfax Media after being flagged as a possible "scam" by a Facebook member in Whangarei.

It attracted widespread media attention worldwide, including from the BBC, drawing attention to the difficult trade-offs the company faced trying to "monetise" its mostly non-paying membership.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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