LinkedIn is making substantial changes to how it’s customer base interacts and uses the “Groups” feature. In an effort to reduce the spam and promotion littering its ways through many groups these days, you’ll see changes on the desktop and on the mobile side that will benefit its members and help to increase networking and on-point conversations.

How does this affect your day-to-day engagement and social media presence on LinkedIn? Here are three things to keep in mind:

1. Privatization of Groups

One of the largest changes LinkedIn is making to Groups is setting all groups to “Private”. The days of joining a group based on sheer interest or business gain is no more and group moderators will have a bit more on their plate to manage going forward.

In an effort to keep conversations more engaged and less spammy, groups will designated under two new categories:

  • Unlisted – Only owners and manager can invite or approve new members. Also, Groups “unlisted” will not show up in LinkedIn’s directory and badges will not show on member profiles.
  • Standard – Only group members can invite first degree LinkedIn connections to join and you can only approve requests to join groups from first degree connections.

In keeping up with the anti-spamming efforts, all group posts and discussions will no longer be crawled by search engines, keeping the conversations private and more valuable to the group.

2. Exclusive iOS and Android App for Groups

Coming out the same day as the changes, LinkedIn will be introducing a standalone “Groups” app for iOS and Android (will be released TBD). With these changes, push notifications can be enabled to receive new group conversations, creating more engagement amongst its members, something that was very difficult to keep up with prior.

3. Content Moderation and Monitoring

With the new changes highly focused on content and interactions, there are a few other changes going under the radar that may influence your activity on LinkedIn:

  • Eliminating Subgroups – Whilst subgroups were a huge benefit to enterprise-level groups with many members, those groups will now be turned into their own groups. LinkedIn cites: “…for the majority of our members, the experience was confusing.”
  • Real-Time Posts – Comments and new discussions will be posted and go live immediately instead of waiting for moderator or manager approval. They will however be able to still remove topic that is off-topic and place continued offenders to a moderation penalty box.
  • Mentions of Members and Image Uploads – You’ll now be able to upload a photo when you begin a new conversation, along with @mentioning other members when commenting or starting a new one.
  • More Robust Content Filtering – The Promotions Tab first off is no more. These types of posts that would litter groups in the Promotions Tab or elsewhere will now be flagged as promotional and in a moderation queue. All jobs will also now be automatically moved to the Jobs tab from the main conversation area.

Many changes are ensuing and all looking to better create a better networking space of common interest for business professionals. For a complete list of changes and updates, check out the LinkedIn Help Article for more information.

What parts of these changes are you most or least excited about?