LinkedIn is making it easier for members to message each other.
The professional network is launching a "smarter" messaging feature Thursday as part of its ongoing desktop redesign efforts. With a new messaging tab, members can reach out to any of their connections regardless of whether they're on the site looking at jobs or updating their profile.
"We want to thread messaging across LinkedIn to make it so seamless you can start or resume conversations without having to go to another page to do it," said Sammy Shreibati, a senior product manager.
The messaging update is part of LinkedIn's goal to become more than the go-to place for job seekers and to keep its 467 million using the platform for longer stretches of time. The company said that it's seen a 40 percent increase in messaging in the past year and that about half its members now use messaging.
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn's upgrade is part of a slew of changes, including Conversation Starters, which connects members with others through messaging, and Salary, which seeks to help people who want to earn more money.
As part of the new messaging feature, LinkedIn also provides "contextual suggestions" on the Jobs and Company pages. For example, a member looking at a job posting will instantly see which of their connections work at that company or who could possibly introduce them to someone there.
During tests of the new message feature, LinkedIn saw a 10 percent increase in members responding to messages within one minute, said Chris Szeto, LinkedIn's messaging product director.
The messaging feature is available worldwide.
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