As part of Microsoft’s finalized acquisition of LinkedIn, the Windows maker this morning outlined a series of goals it has for its new social network. One of those goals includes the implementation of LinkedIn notifications in the Windows 10 Action Center, so you will never again miss the note telling you that a complete and total stranger is trying to connect with you.
Of course, this feature will be easy to disable. But it sounds, like most aspects of LinkedIn, as if it will be as pernicious as the website’s standard disruptions of our daily lives. One cursory glance at your LinkedIn profile is like being crushed under an avalanche of ignored responsibilities. Because there’s always 22 InMail messages from people you’ve never met. Or maybe 67 pending invitations you have to painstakingly click “accept” on, for it will balloon your follower count past the “500+” mark that signifies you are a well-connected professional who is quite adept at networking.
LinkedIn exists in a strange place. It’s a professional social network most everyday people are a part of, but only a core group of recruiters, sales professionals, and wildly opportunist industry climbers appear to use it daily. It has immense value — Microsoft paid $26 billion for it, because a network of more than 400 million professionals could help Microsoft compete with the likes of Salesforce, SAP, and Oracle. It also represents the kind of social data goldmine Microsoft has lacked, one comprised of the core demographic of the company’s products and services.
But LinkedIn can be pretty annoying at times, too. It’s a constant, nagging reminder that you’re not exactly the polished and well-oiled professional machine that some other members of society seem to be. The last place we probably need that flagged in front of our eyes is the corner of our computer screen.