LinkedIn is ending support for RSS feeds in LinkedIn groups, as of March 15. The social networking site says it decided to eliminate the feature in order to better invest its resources in “building more great LinkedIn products.” This is essentially the same line LinkedIn used when it announced it was getting rid of its Answers application.
If you’re not sure what an RSS feed is and why you should care about this, let me explain. LinkedIn group administrators were able to automatically populate their discussion fields with articles from an outside source. For instance, I used RSS feeds in my group, Social and Search Marketing for Entrepreneurs, to include articles from this blog, as well as from SocialMediaExaminer. Since I don’t always have time to monitor the group, I thought it would be a good way to share useful information on social media marketing without having to manually post an article each time. Not anymore!
Jon Fricke, Executive Logistics Recruiter, at High Road Partners Inc. lamented the news saying, “My “Trucking / Logistics” group will be 30,000 members and is the place that I go (make that what I did in the past after March 15) to get my industry news. The news from RSS feeds allow members to get the news that they want.”
Deb Harrell, a Business Development Consultant added, “It would help, then if Linkedin gave us back a “NEWS” tab so that articles with links back to relevant news sources for industry news could be populated to that tab rather than clutter up the discussions forum.”
This development may be part of a bigger strategy that LinkedIn has in mind. In a cnet.com article, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said, “One of the areas where we’re making strong traction in is LinkedIn as a professional publishing platform. You see with the momentum we’re generating now in Influencers, LinkedIn Groups, Slideshare, people are increasingly turning to LinkedIn to publish professionally relevant content.” Weiner added, “We think that’s going to create a very strong platform and very valuable context for large enterprises, for small-medium businesses who want to target [and] engage with professionals.”
What do you think of this decision? Will you miss the RSS feeds? Do you have time to manually post articles in LinkedIn groups? Or will you use third-party apps like Hootsuite to post links?