A new LinkedIn app acts as a caddy to keep your networking skills up to par.
The LinkedIn Connected app for iPhone, out today, updates you on those in your network and reminds you in advance about vital contacts. As part of the new design, each timely update -- such as a job change, promotion and work anniversary -- comes as a "card" that can be quickly read.
You can opt to "Like" an update, say "Congratulations" or type a longer message or dismiss the card. And if you sync your phone contacts you can also call or text professional contacts. "We want to make it easy for members to do either," says David Brubacher, head of relationships products at LinkedIn.
Connected will replace the current LinkedIn Contacts app, launched just more than a year ago. All users need to do is update their Contacts app or download the new Connected app today. (There's an Android app in the works, too.)
Over the last year, the LinkedIn team saw how the Contacts app was being used and began working on improvements. "They were using it from six to 10 in the morning but just for a few minutes a day," Brubacher says. "But people just need to use it a few minutes a day to be able to know what is going on in their network and quickly reach out to them."
In addition to reminding you to keep in touch with recent contacts, the app also tries to anticipate contact information that you will need. For instance, it might prompt you about those who will be in an upcoming meeting about any changes in their job or career.
For that "anticipatory computing" feature you will want to sync your calendar with the Connected app. "That enables us to learn your schedule and also the people you are meeting with and inject ourselves and be proactive about notifying you if there's something interesting just in time," says Vinodh Jayaram, director of engineering at LinkedIn.
Overall, LinkedIn has seen weekly activity increase to nine million comments, likes and congratulations for work anniversaries, job changes, birthdays and being mentioned in the news. Traffic on mobile apps continues to trend up, now accounting for 43% of unique visitors to LinkedIn, compared to 8% three years ago.
In addition to the flagship LinkedIn app, the company has a Job Search app (iOS only, Android in the works), as well as the Pulse news app, Recruiter Mobile app and SlideShare app, all on Android and iOS.
This new improved app, is "something that we hope will make you the smartest person in the room," Jayaram says. For more information about the app, go to the LinkedIn blog.