The Sad Truth About 24/7 Content Creation on LinkedIn
So you are scrolling through Linkedin and catching up on the latest posts from your connections. Of-course your aim is to kill time and divert your brain away from work, Linkedin or Youtube seem like the obivious choice.
While you’re scrolling you come across a Post by an “Influencer” (cringe), you find it interesting and read it through. When done you continue scrolling in hope to find something else.
After a few scrolls you find the exact same post repeated by multiple people. Whether it be same repeated Job Posts, Some cute photo of theirs with some non-sense content, An advertisement from a brand by them (which they haven’t specified they are being paid for, obviously 😛), an awe-inspiring story of their multitudes of struggle, Posts on two “Mega Influencers” (massive cringe) fighting with each other on the platform, Daily dose of inspiration with their Twitter Tweets screnshots, etc.
But TBH Linkedin or even Content wasn’t always like this. It was a lot different before Covid and changed massively after Covid hit & more people started using the platform.
So, my question is what changed?
Pre-Covid Days of LinkedIn
I joined LinkedIn back in 2018 after hearing that you could connect with Professionals on the platform and message them for help & advice. I have always been a big fan of the platform ever since. On LinkedIn not only could you interact with people you admire but also learn from their Posts.
Before March 2020, the platform was mainly used by people for sharing their achievements at Work or College. Sharing referrals through a Post and People commenting “Interested” under them was common that time as well. 😅
But what differentiated the platform pre-2020 was the fact that you didn’t have to post regularly to build your audience and neither had to focus on growing your “connections”. Linkedin treated every post the same way and good content flourished regardless of how many Enlarged Pics you share of yourself or your company.
What Changed FOR LinkedIn during Covid time?
A sudden shift in dynamics happened when everything closed down in March 2020. For instance, there was a large influx of college students who started using the platform actively. While their initial aim was to connect with recruiters and reach out to companies looking for a job, Many started posting content on the platform in their free time.
The content quality had degraded, and suddenly posts sharing a certificate screenshot or badge started gaining a lot of traction. People could write something like:
“I’m happy to share that I have completed <Insert Name of Course>…. I’m thankful to <Insert name of Person/ Company> for giving me the opportunity”
and such posts started gaining a lot of traction. Don’t get me wrong I tried it myself and abused it multiple times until I realized the Linkedin algorithm was Dumb to give it so much reach.
What LinkedIn did to Fix this problem during Covid
In mid-May and June 2020, Linkedin introduced its Trending Posts feature similar to Trending Hashtags in Twitter. It was quickly rolled back which I assume could be because multiple Posts started Trending very easily.
Right around late 2020, I started observing some changes in the way the Linkedin algorithm behaved. It was much easier to gain traction on a Post with your selfie or a random Photo! Nobody cared about content. It was similar to being on Instagram.
Many “New Job” posts containing pictures of Company Logo started becaming popular and some Linkedin users used this as an opportunity to start promoting their own Youtube channels and courses. Initial success was easy as the Algorithm allowed it.
Majority of their Youtube content was shitty, people would share Job post link in their video descriptions & would get views through that, Many shared motivational videos and Roadmaps for cracking interviews, Few shared Interviews experiences by connecting with People through Zoom while some started Vlogging random stuff. There was hardly anything new that they were teaching.
During Covid, many FAANG and MAANG Youtube influencers were born & they made a fortune not because of their content but because people blindly followed them based on the number of likes, followers and because of their company names. Real creators / teachers were scarce.
Why I feel 24/7 content creation is Dumb
The thing about the LinkedIn algorithm which is now more similar to Youtubes’ & Instagrams’ is that you need to produce content often if you want to retain your audience. If you’re away for a few weeks or months, you will have a hard time gaining back your Mojo.
By having this obligation to produce content often, many Influencers have started sharing content which is not helpful, content which is highly Plagiarized (blatantly copied), Sadistic content aimed at belittling others & showing themselves as superior to others. Most of their content doesn’t even make sense.
Usual fights on the platform don’t help as well, while reporting such posts is supposed to work in theory but no action is taken against such posts and profiles. Seems like the AI bots weren’t paid overtime to take down such content. 🦾
Why I still believe in LinkedIn
While the platform has it’s flaws and weaknesses, it’s the best one we got. If you think fights on Linkedin are tough to handle try using Twitter.
On Twitter, you can be misunderstood entirely owing to the less word count, On LinkedIn long posts do help in clarifying your points and suggestions. And overall the crowd is a lot more professional.
As for the content quality on Linkedin, it needs to be improved. By training the algorithm properly and separating good content from bad, and by removing plagarised posts, I think the platform could be saved.
There are a lot of great content creators on the platform that produce insightful content which should be promoted and spread, but bad content overshadows them completely.
The thing about Blackbox algorithms like that of Youtubes’ and LinkedIns’ is that you don’t notice it when it working fine but when it is working really bad, things could get much worse if not paid attention.