Ah, that time of year when summer is wrapping up, ASAE Annual is less than a week away and you’re crazed trying to get your work done AND prep for the conference while also stressing about leaving your new puppy for FIVE nights…not to mention the whole clear plastic bag instead of a purse thing. #AssociationLife
Anyway, leave it to the universe to have TODAY be the day the thing you’ve been predicting for years suddenly materialize: LinkedIn just notified Group admins that they’re excited to roll out the NEW version of Groups…in TWO WEEKS. That’s great, right? I mean, just look at the email announcing the change that will impact every single individual or organization that has spent years building out their community on LinkedIn’s Group platform. I’m bolding the important parts:
“Thank you for your continued dedication to your LinkedIn groups. As you know we are fully rebuilding Groups and reintegrating it into the main LinkedIn website and mobile apps. We are excited for you to experience the new version of Groups which will start rolling out to all members at the end of August.
We’ve heard from many of you over the past year that boosting engagement and enabling vibrant discussions in your groups is important, so we’ve prioritized features that support this including:
- Making it easier to access Groups right from the LinkedIn homepage and improving visibility of group conversations in the main LinkedIn feed
- Giving you the ability to manage your group on the go in the LinkedIn iOS and Android apps
- Helping you stay up-to-date on group activity through Notifications
- Enabling richer conversations with the ability to reply to comments, edit posts and comments, and post native video
All of your groups will be migrated automatically and for the first time the full functionality of Groups will be available from the LinkedIn app and desktop experience. In the coming months you’ll also see new and better ways to manage your communities on LinkedIn. In the meantime, we’ve streamlined some existing admin functionality that we want you to be aware of:
- Moderation queues will be temporarily unavailable. We realize the importance of moderation tools and are working on rebuilding moderation functionality in the new version of Groups. This rebuilt and improved moderation queue will be available in the next few months. We are not planning to rebuild the auto-generated classifier queue. We encourage you to review any content in the queues and remove any members who continue to violate your group rules.
- Admin roles will be streamlined to just owners and managers. We heard feedback from many of you that current admin roles are confusing so we’re simplifying to just owner and manager roles. Moderators will become regular members once this change takes effect. If you have moderators who you’d like to keep on as admins, please promote them to managers.
- Admin and auto-generated group emails (including digests, automated templates, and announcements) will be unavailable as we build better and more robust notification and communication channels. We have seen significant lift in engagement to Groups coming from notifications and believe that notifications will be an effective way for you to communicate with your members. There is no required action for this change but we wanted to clearly highlight it as we know many of you plan your email content in advance.
We have many more updates coming and an engineering team dedicated to building admin functionality for Groups. We know your role as a group admin is integral to the success of your group, and we look forward to continuing to work with you as we build out the new experience. Thank you for your continued support in making groups on LinkedIn a trusted place to share knowledge and learn from other professionals. Visit the Help Center to learn more about the changes and stay tuned for more updates!
Stay tuned for more updates!
Chloe & the LinkedIn Groups team”
Wait, so this is all great, right? I mean, look at all the exclamation points and how they’re so excited to make these improvements.
Um, no. And the fact that they’re painting this as great for group admins is just reason number one billion why I’ve been writing about how you should not build community on a platform you don’t have control over for more than five years. Today’s email announcement is exactly why. Because, with just two weeks notice, you now get to inform your community members that they’ll no longer be able to receive email notifications or digests of group activity. You’ll no longer be able to send email announcements to your community. You’ll no longer be able be able to moderate members’ activity. And you’ll basically see the promised “improvements” whenever LinkedIn decides to roll them out…if, indeed, that ever happens…which I personally wouldn’t bet on.
But then again, this should come as a surprise to nobody–least of all me. After all, this is what you get when you–and your community members–are the product and you build your home on borrowed land.