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New LinkedIn Feature: Following Added to the Platform

Talk about a painful breakup: It was back in June when LinkedIn announced that you would no longer be able to display your 140-character tweets on your profile. While it appeared to be an odd move for two sites that seemed to work together seamlessly, today we find out LinkedIn’s next move: A new LinkedIn feature that allows users to “follow” the thoughts, comments, and posts from another user. Sound familiar?

Okay, before you cry foul on behalf of Twitter, just wait. LinkedIn’s new feature is restricted to 150 users that LinkedIn deems “thought leaders.” The professional social networking site announced on Tuesday that users can subscribe to these thought leaders and receive status updates as well as graphics, slideshows, messages, and posts from these super-users. Some of the users counted among these thought leaders are Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Mitt Romney, and of course, Barack Obama.

So, what does it mean for Twitter? Since the new LinkedIn feature doesn’t mimic Twitter’s concept or platform, your profile is safe for now. What’s more, since regular Joe Schmoes don’t have a chance at becoming a thought leader, you can still garner fans and followers on your good old Twitter account. Still, it’s an interesting concept for those who want to stay connected with who are essentially some of the world’s foremost experts on leadership. Exclusive content from the best of the best can help turn LinkedIn from that site you visit once a week to a daily affair.

LinkedIn expects to expand its list of “influencers” in the coming months, which means there might still be a chance for you. In fact, you can apply to become a heavy hitter on the LinkedIn Influencer Program page. Until then, you can start conversations with Tim O’Reilly or read a blog from Arianna Huffington. Not bad, right?

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