Not long after LinkedIn introduced a new, streamlined search tool, it's filled another obvious gap. Starting today, users can start typing a name in updates or comments to see an auto-populated list of connections. Once someone is mentioned in a post, they'll be notified, just as they would be on Facebook or Twitter. While this looks to be mostly for first-degree connections, it's also possible to mention other people by name in comments sections on public posts.
The impetus for this is somewhat obvious: LinkedIn has been working on turning itself from a resume-swapping tool to a more robust social network and news source, leveraging its over 200 million members. While some moves, like its rumored acquisition of Pulse news reader, are indicative of a larger change in direction, adding mentions is basic housekeeping. The feature is set to roll out to US users today, with a global expansion in the near future. Also, while it's currently only available on the Home section of LinkedIn, the company says it may soon start showing up elsewhere as well.