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LinkedIn introduces Sponsored Updates; to kill off its news discovery service Signal

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Professional networking site LinkedIn has introduced LinkedIn Sponsored Updates for companies that run their official pages on the site. The feature will enable firms to promote their business content including videos, presentations and product news in the newsfeeds of other LinkedIn members, thus extending the reach of their pages and allowing them to engage with new audiences. LinkedIn members can further engage with the content via 'like', 'share' and 'comment' options, and they can also 'follow' the company that has generated the content.

Sponsored Updates will appear on users' LinkedIn homepages and will be marked as 'sponsored'. If a member chooses to follow a specific company, he/she will see a mix of organic posts and ads. Companies will be able to publish these ads on cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-mille (CPM) basis through bid-based auction and LinkedIn will also enable them to post & track campaigns through analytics and accordingly fine-tune their strategies in real time.

"Content marketing is at the heart of LinkedIn's marketing solutions strategy," said Nishant Rao, country manager of LinkedIn India. According to him, the goal is to develop a definitive professional publishing platform and create opportunities for marketers to drive business results by sharing relevant content with LinkedIn members.

In a separate move, LinkedIn has also announced it is killing off its news discovery service Signal on July 29, 2013. It means users won't be able to search for updates after the stipulated date; neither can they access any of their saved searches.

"The LinkedIn team is continually working on developing more useful products and features for members like you. This sometimes means we will incorporate a feature into another product or remove it completely. Although this feature will no longer be available, you'll still be able to search for people, companies, keywords and jobs you are interested in, directly from your LinkedIn homepage, using the search bar," the announcement said.

Signal was launched in beta back in 2010 to enable members to search through all the data on their network to get relevant information and insights. It seems the company has not seen the desired results from Signal service and hence, the decision to shut it down.

Earlier this year, LinkedIn India crossed the 20 million member mark, making India the largest member base for the company in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, and the second-largest in the world, after the US.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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