Services & Software

With Channels, LinkedIn Today funnels news into your network

The social network for professionals has redesigned its digital daily in the hopes of getting members to stick around longer.

Screenshot by Jennifer Van Grove/CNET

LinkedIn has made over its e-zine, LinkedIn Today, with a new look and a new content discovery feature called Channels.

LinkedIn Today, first launched more than two years ago, is meant to be a digital newspaper that sums up the day's top business news. Today aggregates articles shared by the company's more than 225 million users, with each edition personalized to the reader based on his or her connections.

The new LinkedIn Today is dressed up with a more modern design, comes with more than 20 broad topic sections called Channels that members can follow, and features more content created specifically for the network by LinkedIn's Rolodex of 250 "Influencers."

LinkedIn will formally announce the changes Wednesday morning, but the redesigned Today is already rolling out to the social network's English-speaking members.

Users can follow topic sections, called Channels, to get news updates on Web. Screenshot by Jennifer Van Grove/CNET

Channels is the most notable addition to LinkedIn Today. The umbrella categories are designed to help members find more of the news they care about in areas such as social media, technology, retail, economy, and health care. More important, Channels help pump even more content into LinkedIn's network, as members who follow a Channel will automatically find new news bits inside the feed of updates on their Web home page.

Those who choose to navigate to the separate Today section will find that they still get a customized selection of LinkedIn Today finds but that they can also navigate to new areas: Influencer Posts, for top updates from specialists; All Influencers, as a way to find and follow LinkedIn contributors like Richard Branson and Mark Cuban; and All Channels, to go directly to a particular section.

With the updates, LinkedIn Today delivers news to people wherever they are on the network and helps to fuel the company's strategy of using content as a way to hook people to its Web site.

Update, 5:56 p.m. PT: A LinkedIn spokesperson clarified that Channel updates don't yet feed into the mobile stream, but said that the company is working to develop that functionality.