LinkedIn is used by millions of professionals, but its publishing platform isn't always utilized to its full potential. The feature allows professionals to write articles on topics they're knowledgeable about, sharing them to their feed to reach a wider audience.
There are some great stories of users getting jobs from this exposure, but it appears the design of the platform was putting many users off. Today, LinkedIn has rolled out an update to the experience, with a modern design, a better reading experience, and more.
According to Engineering Manager Jake Denjo, the new publishing experience uses a custom version of Quill. The text-editor originated from Jason Chen and Byron Milligan, founders of startup company Stypi.
Salesforce acquired Stypi in 2012 and re-wrote their technology. One of the products of this was Quill, which is now open source and available to everyone. Denjo talks a little about the benefits of Quill in a blog post:
“Two of the biggest reasons why we chose Quill were that it uses a fantastic DOM abstraction model and has a modular, clean API, which means it provides a cleaner, faster, more reliable experience for our members. The API also allows for the customization needed by LinkedIn's new publishing platform, and makes the development team more productive as well. As LinkedIn publishing evolves, Quill's underlying technology opens the door for rich features, such as collaborative editing and custom rich media types.”
The most noticeable change in the publishing platform is its design. Arguably, it's more modern than the home page of LinkedIn itself, and now supports full-width writing.
Eider screen real estate does a lot to make the writing experience more immersive, despite the fact it's primary just a wider header image. Users can choose between wide and narrow, so it shouldn't be an issue if you prefer the restricted view.
LinkedIn has also made adding media a lot more intuitive. A small plus button sits at the beginning of your active paragraph and clicking it allows you to add images, video or Prezi slides. It works pretty well, though there's no support for image resizing or galleries.
The other things the company is touting is a better reading experience. The better multimedia options allow for content that is more engaging and easier to read.
Finally, the tagging system has been updated to support hashtags, which writers can add to articles to increase discoverability. The ability to search via hashtags came to iOS recently, and will be coming to desktop “very soon.” It will also begin rolling out to non-US users in the coming weeks.
You can read more about the changes on the LinkedIn blog.