LinkedIn has launched a new messaging feature that it’s calling Active Status.
A small green circle will now show when a user is online and available to chat in the Messaging tab, with the text ‘Active now’ displayed for good measure. A green ring will indicate when a user is active on mobile.
The feature appears to be turned on by default. It’s easy to turn it off, but the default setting will inevitably raise privacy concerns in some quarters.
This feature, more generally known in the industry as ‘presence’, has to date been used mainly by messaging apps such as Skype. In an instant communication channel, having a indicator of presence is essential.
This suggests that LinkedIn could be moving towards being a more ‘live’ channel, where members communicate more frequently. Having seen messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Snapchat eat into their usage, all of the social networks are keen to offer instant communications.
Following the recent re-vamp of LinkedIn Messaging, the addition of presence takes the network one step closer to being a messaging app. The next logical progression would be to add a messaging sidebar, similar to Facebook’s, and perhaps even launch a bespoke messaging app.
We’ll be watching LinkedIn’s messaging enhancements in the coming year very closely.
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