New LinkedIn feature enables users to follow professionals outside contacts list

3 Oct, 2012

Till now, LinkedIn members could only follow news by industry and sources, companies and groups. They can now also follow other professionals on LinkedIn as well. But not just any professionals, these include 150 of the most recognized and influential thought leaders on the professional networking site, who will be sharing their knowledge and professional insights.

The list includes names like Richard Branson (founder, Virgin Group), President Barack Obama, Tony Robbins (chairman, Anthony Robbins Holdings, Inc.) and Caterina Fake (founder and CEO at Findery), among others. By following them, members can read what they are saying, share it, and like and comment directly on their posts. Also, in addition to having access to their status updates, members will be able to see longer form and original posts from the influencers (with videos, photos, and Slideshare presentations). Some of the first topics include- 'It's not just who you know, it's what they know' by LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, 'the six lessons I live by' by William Morris Endeavor, co-CEO, Ari Emanuel and 'it's not about you: the truth about social media marketing" by Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media.

"We've also made it easier for you to join or start a professional discussion. Whether you're commenting on Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber's post about achieving success through fame and misfortune to sharing about how Delos Cosgrove went from cardiac surgeon to CEO of Cleveland Clinic, the second largest private medical practice in the world," wrote Ryan Roslansky, head of content products at LinkedIn, in an official company blog post.

LinkedIn will keep expanding the list of professionals (that can be followed) over the next few months. The company claims that it will look at both universally recognised thought leaders (across LinkedIn) and also industry-specific movers and shakers. Additionally, people interested in becoming an influencer on LinkedIn can also submit their request (they can apply here to the site.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)