LinkedIn Group Changes – The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

You can find the list of changes here

We are seeing MANY comments (or should I say grumblings) about these changes.  LinkedIn claims that the changes arise as a result of consulting with the group moderators, but so far we haven’t been able to find a single group moderator to back up that claim.

I guess the question is – will these changes contribute to LinkedIn?  Many are skeptical.  Will this mean less interaction in some already barren groups?

So many people complain about the lack of engagement in LinkedIn groups.  It’s all too often we see “discussions” with a blog link and NO interaction…not even a like. Will moderators choose to no longer moderate groups that some have been running for years?

LinkedIn, among its many changes to groups, has decided to take away the ability to send a connection request to fellow group members.  Come on – they have already limited the number of messages that can be sent to group members.  Really?  If the goal is more group engagement, taking away the ability to engage on a 1:1 level seems to be counterproductive, doesn’t it? 

Group Changes

There will be 2 types of groups moving forward – Standard and Unlisted

Unlisted Groups will be just that – they won’t show up in searches and you must be invited by the group owner in order to join.  These groups might include customer support groups or employee groups.

Standard Groups will show up in searches but joining them takes a little more effort.  The moderator is no longer the person approving your request to join. A 1st degree connection or yours that is a member of the group will have to invite you to join, then any group member will have the ability to approve your requests.

For more details about the difference between standard and unlisted groups click here.

Conversations will now only be visible if you have joined the group and will not be visible to search engines.

Groups Will Be Member ONLY

This is meant to deter SPAM.  Previously, “Open” groups provided the ability to non-members to post in the group, which LinkedIn believes contributed largely to the SPAM issues.

All New Discussion Will Be Accepted Immediately

There are beefed up spam filters, but barring getting stuck in the filter, posts will be accepted as the default.  But moderators will still be responsible to remove a post that is not in accordance with their guideline and group members will still be able to flag content.

Job posts will automatically post in the jobs tab.

The promotions tab is being removed… I know, you’re probably asking, “Promotions tab?”

Sadly, Subgroups will be eliminated.

I actually really liked the idea of subgroups.  We were able to join up to 100 groups because of the subgroups – which was twice as much as the average LinkedIn user thought could be joined.  It was an excellent way to create special interests groups within larger groups.

ImagesLet’s see how this plays out – LinkedIn has added the ability to post images in comments.  Will this lead to more colorful conversation or will this become somewhat of a distraction, taking away from the meat of the content?


LOVE, LOVE , LOVE mentions.  Using @Mentions allows us to draw other people into the conversation and will most likely boost engagement.  Many discussions seemed more self-serving than engaging – maybe this will change that.


Another way LinkedIn is hoping to boost group engagement – there will be a groups mobile app, currently available for iOS and soon for Android.

Email Digests

A digest of popular and recent conversation has been created so it will cut down on emails from your Groups in an effort to help you follow the most interesting conversations.

Personal Highlights

You’ll find your personal highlights page within LinkedIn Groups.  These are a snapshot of all of the most important conversations happening in all your groups.

As you can see, there will be various changes that you will agree with, and others you will not agree with.  Remember that groups are an excellent resource to find your target audience and engage when you otherwise would not be able to engage.

 How will this affect you?

Let us know in the comments below – and keep an eye out for Kurt Foedisch’s next blog will be posted on 10/14/15 about how this will effect moderators and contributors.


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About Bobbie

Bobbie specializes in helping executives as well as sales & marketing teams maximize client acquisition through the intersection of face-to-face networking combined with social selling techniques. Her customized programs and processes not only help in building the right network of prospects, clients, referral partners, and centers of influence, but also provide techniques to become thought leaders in their industry and stay top of mind with their targets.

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