As social networks rely more on news to drive activity, LinkedIn is working on improvements to its news-reader app, Pulse. The updates will assign content a higher in-stream ranking based on data from users’ connections, career history and seniority.
Leveraging user profiles to serve up relevant content is at the center of the company’s mobile strategy. More than 41 percent of LinkedIn’s traffic comes from smartphones and tablets and the company expects more than half of its traffic will come from mobile devices this year.
LinkedIn is also broadening its focus from information specific to a user’s profession and job searches to prioritizing content that makes LinkedIn a daily destination. It’s recently enlisted celebrities like Arianna Huffington and Martha Stewart as “influencers” who publish on the site. And all LinkedIn users will be able to publish their own content by the end of the year.
Pulse is part of LinkedIn’s strategy to capture attention on small mobile devices, with different applications serving different purposes: “The flagship LinkedIn app has a little bit of everything, but for specific use cases it’s really better to have a focused app. In a couple of seconds you need to get the value across to the user,” Ankit Gupta, co-founder of Pulse and a senior product manager at LinkedIn, told Bloomberg.
The company hopes Pulse will stand out among news-reader competitors like Flipboard, Twitter and Facebook’s Paper. Sources close to the company told Bloomberg that the new version of Pulse is set to be released in the third quarter.