LinkedIn is launching Sponsored Updates, the company announced today. Touted as the core product of the professional network’s content marketing program, Sponsored Updates are messages from advertisers that are placed along with the job change announcements and shop talk that appear on members’ homepages.
The messages look like the other updates, but they will be marked “sponsored,” much like Facebook’s in-stream ad unit, Sponsored Stories. Viewers will have the option to hit the like button, leave a comment, and share the post, as well as hide it from view.
LinkedIn has already given companies a stronger presence on the network by allowing its 225 million members to choose which corporate pages to follow to receive job listings and other company updates.
“Sponsored Updates enable these entities to build relationships by delivering their content into the homepage feed of members beyond those who are following their company,” explained LinkedIn VP of product management David Hahn in a blog post. “In developing Sponsored Updates, we’ve taken a measured and methodical approach to create an experience that strikes the right balance for our members and companies.”
LinkedIn has been testing the program for six months with companies including Nissan, Xerox and Adobe. Starting today, other LinkedIn customers who have an account representative will also be able to sign up. The company plans to open Sponsored Updates to all 3 million Company Page owners by the end of this month.