LinkedIn to date has allowed people to follow updates from companies, groups and by industry and sources. Now the professional social networking firm is allowing users to follow a select group of “influencers.” These 150 people range from billionaire Richard Branson to Barack Obama to Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. Others in the media/tech space include Arianna Huffington, Reid Hoffman, Tim O’Reilly and Charlene Li.
Those in this exclusive group won’t be limited to the length of ordinary status updates but will be able to post longer-form pieces with videos, photos and Slideshare presentations. That makes it more like the start of a LinkedIn blog network.
Over the next few months, the company plans to expand the list of influencers, with “both universally-recognized thought leaders across LinkedIn and also industry-specific movers and shakers,” according to a LinkedIn blog post today. The step follows a similar move Facebook last year allowing anyone to “subscribe” to the Facebook pages of celebrities and other high-profile people.