LinkedIn Answers retiring this month
In an email to LinkedIn Answers users, the company said, “As you’ve seen, we’ve made major upgrades to the professional news, commentary and conversation features on LinkedIn. And we’re just getting started. In this process we evaluated how our current products and features are being used. To ensure we focus on building the best products, we’ll be retiring LinkedIn Answers on January 31 and it’ll be removed from our site. ”
Explaining their reasoning the professional network added, “Instead, we’re focusing our efforts on developing new and more engaging ways to share and discuss professional topics across LinkedIn. We look forward to sharing the details with you in the coming months, so please stay tuned.”
The company says they are not retiring groups, polls, or other features, but that the LinkedIn Answers will be completely removed from the site, implying that all answers provided in the past, and all efforts put forth by professionals to connect, teach, learn, and in many cases, garner leads, is null.
Interestingly, when you visit LinkedIn Answers, there is no notification, no pop up, no warning that that section will be retired, and no explanation of how to possibly document your own history of questions and answers aside from copying and pasting your history.
The announcement comes on the heels of yesterday’s news of Facebook Graph Search, which could threaten LinkedIn Answers, but we don’t believe the two are connected. That said, it is obvious that Quora.com will probably be the default for LinkedIn.
The announcement doesn’t seem to be fully fleshed out, but the bottom line is that if you ask the average professional, many don’t even know LinkedIn Answers ever existed, so it will probably only hurt for a minute.
Amy Vernon, GM, Social Marketing at Internet Media Labs told AGBeat, “This is really a shame; I always thought LinkedIn Answers was one of the most valuable parts of the site. I’ve often encouraged people to use the Answers section to show off their expertise and have found great value there both personally and professionally. I’ve been impressed with most of what LinkedIn has done over the past year or so, but I think this is a serious misstep. Good for Quora, though, I suppose.”
“I liked LinkedIn Answers,” said Scott Baradell, President of Idea Grove. “It was a big part of LinkedIn’s transformation into a more useful and multifaceted social network. But it was clearly losing the battle to Quora, and they have since introduced a number of features that are much stronger. I’m assuming that disappointing engagement levels made the decision for them in this case.”