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LinkedIn update lets you follow Barack Obama, Richard Branson, and other 'thought leaders'

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LinkedIn this week unveiled a new feature that allows users to receive updates from so-called "influential thought leaders" like Richard Branson, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney. The feature is similar to subscription services already offered by Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, though LinkedIn aims to distinguish itself by providing more expansive content, including videos, photos, and slide show presentations.

Prior to Tuesday's announcement, LinkedIn users could receive updates from companies and specific industries, but could only see posts from individuals with whom they'd already connected. Now, they'll be able to subscribe to updates from 150 thought leaders, with suggestions displayed at the top of the LinkedIn home screen. The social network says it will expand the list of prominent users "over the next few months," while narrowing its focus to "influencers" in particular industries, as well.