Microsoft-Owned LinkedIn Plans Improvements, Including Changes To SlideShare

LinkedIn plans to make a series of enhancements to the platform in the coming months. Those upgrades will include improvements to search and changes to SlideShare, which the company acquired in 2012 for $119 million. SlideShare has become a major tool for marketers, as many build out a link strategy on the social network. 

"I can confirm we're making improvements to the platform," said a LinkedIn spokesperson, without providing details. "We're doing some tests around these changes, but we're not quite ready to announce them yet."

Marketers can expect some of those improvements in the first quarter of 2018. 

Most recently, LinkedIn removed the ability to re-upload documents to SlideShare, and it seems to have created a firestorm after Mathew Sweezey, who leads marketing insights at Salesforce, brought the misstep to the attention of the social site's community.

Sweezey fell in love with SlideShare several years ago. Now the "heavy" user admits to making mistakes often in his slides. The "re-upload" feature allowed him to go back an fix them or just update the presentation at a later date.

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He says SlideShare took away the ability to re-upload slides -- instead recommending that he use a "workaround," after finding a post in a forum from October 2017, explaining the changes.

For the workaround, someone at LinkedIn suggested deleting the presentation and creating a new presentation, which would have a new URL. "They have no clue how marketers use this thing, or how the internet works," he wrote. "A new URL means all my old links are dead."

Dead links create challenges for marketers. Sweezey says the old analytics will be lost -- not because of the link, but because the analytics are tied to the content. Second, he said, it kills the conversation.

Old comments are deleted and social activity is lost, such as 1,000 likes. Nick De Mey, founder and creative director at Board of Innovation, wrote that he has more than 6 million views on SlideShare, and added that being able to re-upload to update content or fix errors is crucial.

A dead link means all previous efforts in creating, sharing content for link building "go down the drain," wrote Paul Alves, digital strategist and entrepreneur.

A long list, with more than 82 comments on Sweezey's post, express the same sentiment.

"Whoa, seriously? I use it all the time," wrote one follower. "Why would I kill a perfectly good link with existing stats?"

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