Though the feature may only be six months old, LinkedIn’s endorsements have already helped the professional social network increase user incentive for engagement. This week, the company announced a milestone of surpassing 1 billion Endorsements, with 58 million members receiving recognition from other members for a variety of areas of expertise. More than 18 million people have given Endorsements.
Prior to the roll out of Endorsements, LinkedIn users gathered longer testimonial recommendations to reflect their skills. Written recommendations are still a part of the site, but Endorsements turns the process into a streamlined service activated with one click. A prompt appears at the top of the company’s profile pages to promote the service.
Endorsements help LinkedIn keep users on the site longer, as well as increase engagement. They provide users a way to highlight skills and enhance their profiles, key as one of the biggest features of LinkedIn’s Premium Service is its advantages for job hunters. Endorsements increase LinkedIn’s abilities as a networking tool. Most importantly, Endorsements causes profiles to appear higher up in searches, making them four times more likely to be seen, the company claimed.
“We know how important it is for you to showcase your professional best on LinkedIn and we’ve made it easy for you manage what endorsements show up on your profile,” Peter Rusev, LinkedIn’s Associate Product Manager, wrote on the company’s blog. “This can be handy when someone visits your profile (think recruiter, business partner, or customer), so they can quickly see your top strengths and the diverse skills you bring to the table. With more eyeballs on your profile, you may even want to use the opportunity to spruce up your profile, such as adding a particular project or work experience to go alongside the endorsements you’ve gathered from your peers.”
And that engagement is steadily increasing, doubling weekly since the launch of Endorsements.
Still, Endorsements have become so easy to make that they’ve started to lose their meaning.
“While I initially viewed Endorsements with interest, now I consider them a nuisance,” Mashable writer Todd Wasserman noted in an op ed piece criticizing the validation of the function. “I find people I barely know endorsing me and the flurry of Endorsements in my inbox.”