September 30, 2010, 10:41 AM — LinkedIn announced the launch of Signal today, a new product aimed at making it easy for professionals to view streaming updates and news. The interface, which is characteristic of Facebook's News Feed and Twitter's website, features streaming updates from your contacts, category filters to sort these updates and a sidebar displaying trending links.
LinkedIn Signal is a vast improvement over its predecessor, Network Activity, formerly known as Network Updates. LinkedIn Signal is a dedicated page (rather than part of the homepage like Network Updates), but what sets it apart from Facebook's and Twitter's streams are its filters, which let you drill down as specifically or broadly as you'd like to find information.
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LinkedIn Signal is rolling out in limited beta today. After collecting feedback and analyzing usage patterns in the next few months, LinkedIn plans to roll out the feature to the rest of users.
Read on for a sneak peek of Signal's six key features and how they work.
1. The Real-Time Stream
The core feature behind LinkedIn's Signal is its real-time content stream. Much like the old Twitter, you'll see an alert at the top of the stream once new data is available. Scroll all the way to the bottom and you can load older updates.
The content featured in this stream include status updates (both from LinkedIn and Twitter if accounts are linked), links to online articles and news stories, and video links (videos can't yet be previewed inline).
To help you hone in on the information that matters most, look to Signal's eight filters. These filters include My Network, where you can sort posts by you, your first connections, your second connections, or everyone; Industry; Company, Time Published; Geography/Region, School or most popular hashtags.
These filters are more powerful and robust than Twitter's lists or filters you create yourself on Facebook. In a matter of seconds, you can narrow down your stream of information, eliminating on the "information fire hose" reputation that streams have earned.
3. Search Toolbar