Usually I dread getting emails on a Friday night. It generally means one of my sites or, worse, one of my clients sites have gone down or someone needs some help with something, but this Friday I got one that I actually liked. LinkedIn were announcing that you would no longer be able to sync your Tweets to your LinkedIn stream.

Thank the squid-god for that.

A lot of people have been moaning about this, but I think this is the single greatest piece of news that someone who uses these platforms could receive.

Why, you ask? Well I can’t be the only person who finds it excruciatingly irritating to see Tweets auto-synced to LinkedIn, to have your “professional” network’s newsfeed full of nothing but what some recruitment consultants you spoke to last year think about the football. But personal gripes aside, here’s why I think this really benefits LinkedIn: engagement.

How This Helps LinkedIn

Auto-syncing the same post between social media platforms is one of the key signs that someone just doesn’t get social media. It says that they want the attention that comes with updating their status on this platform, but they don’t want to work for that attention.

Even if it’s just a case of logging in and writing a similar thing on there (I’m certainly guilty of that when I’m hawking my latest blog post), it just shows a bit of effort. It shows that you want to earn the attention, that you’re actually engaging with your account there rather than just clicking a button and posting the same thing across several different networks. That’s zombie-sharing, it’s not social. It’s like mailing something in or sending a video rather than being somewhere in person.

Different Platforms Have Different Rules

That’s why I think this will actually help LinkedIn reach the next stage of the social media game. At the moment, people only really seem to use it when they’re looking for a job and they use Twitter to make it look like they’re active. Hopefully now that this capability will be being taken away from people, they’ll have to think about what they’re sharing and our feeds will become filled with more relevant content being shared rather than the kind of jibberish people spout on Twitter.

I suppose that’s the difference between the platforms – I look to Twitter for up-to-the-minute news, to see what’s going on in the industry I work in, to be entertained and to keep up with my friends. I use LinkedIn in a professional capacity; networking, seeing who’s who and to find out about more industry-relevant news. Hopefully this development will mean that the latter happens more. It’ll benefit LinkedIn if that’s the case, I guarantee it.

Now if everyone could stop auto-syncing Twitter to Facebook, Foursquare to Twitter and using all together, that’d be great.

Think I’m wrong? Let me know in the comments.

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