According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn, the social platform with 350 million users where people network for business deals, new jobs, news, and soon to learn a thing or two, is now tapping another business area: social media management. LinkedIn ups Its Game In Social Media With Elevate.
Today, the company is taking the wraps off Elevate, a paid mobile and desktop app that suggests articles to its users — based on algorithms from its news recommendation services Pulse and Newsle, as well as “human curation” — and then lets users schedule and share those links across LinkedIn and Twitter, with the aim to add more networks like Facebook over time.
Elevate is opening up for a closed, paid pilot starting today. Like Facebook at Work, anyone will be able to download the iOS or Android apps. But only those who are signed up for Elevate (and paying for it) will be able to use it.
The plan is to have Elevate in general availability by Q3 of this year, at which point LinkedIn will also unveil pricing. In Q1, LinkedIn says it ran a private pilot with several large companies, including Unilever, Adobe and Quintiles, which is helping it figure out how the app is getting used, and what form that pricing might take.
So what Exactly is Elevate?
You can think of Elevate as a very pared-down, LinkedIn-focused Hootsuite, which lets users schedule and share social media content across multiple networks. Or, perhaps more directly, LinkedIn’s version of the Daily app from Buffer, which uses the Buffer’s content suggestion technology and then lets you schedule and share those links. Or you can think of it as LinkedIn’s latest move to compete against the likes of Salesforce — perhaps some combination of all three.
(The Buffer similarity is interesting, incidentally, given that one source close to LinkedIn told me a while back that he had suggested to higher-ups at the company that it should try to buy the startup.)
Just as Hootsuite and Buffer are designed for both social media professionals and more casual social media junkies, the idea behind Elevate is the same.
For marketing professionals, it helps them keep the social media wheels turning, with story suggestions letting them stay active even when they have no links of their own to share, and analytics to track how well things are performing. They will be able to create specific topic areas to track, for example related to specific company objectives (e.g, a campaign aimed at hiring more female engineers).