Social network LinkedIn has always aimed at the button-down and professional side of social networking, rather than the informal, anything-goes, here’s-a-picture-of-my-cat worlds of social networking services like Facebook. But social networks can carry a tremendous amount of information that is relevant to users’ jobs or careers, and to that end LinkedIn is introducing LinkedIn Signal, a new beta service that enables users to filter through streams to zero in on the information most relevant to them—and it even sorts through material from Twitter.
“Signal [..] gives you a whole new way to consume information and news that’s most relevant to you as a professional,” wrote LinkedIn’s Estaban Kozak on the company blog. “Signal is the first of many LinkedIn products aimed at making it really easy for all professionals to glean only the most relevant insights from the never-ending stream of status updates and news. In other words, Signal allows all professionals to make sense of the noise that surrounds them today.”
Signal splits a LinkedIn page into three columns, with the leftmost offering a range of filtering criteria, the middle a selection of filtered results, and the rightmost being a set of “trending links” that represent the most popular links being shared by users in a users’ LinkedIn network and on Twitter. Streams can be filtered by region, school, industry, primary and secondary networks, and time. Users can also search for specific keywords in LinkedIn or Twitter streams, as well as set up alerts that notify them of changes to a stream. The “trending links” feature also enables users to see who is sharing the most popular links.
LinkedIn boasts about 70 million members, which is relatively tiny compared to the user bases of social networking services like Twitter and Facebook, but LinkedIn has a strong presence in the technology industry and amongst career-oriented professionals.
LinkedIn is starting to roll out signal to members now, with the beta service becoming available to all LinkedIn members over the next few weeks.