In an earlier post I compared LinkedIn’s mobile app to the desktop platform. While the desktop (laptop included) is more widely used than the app, the app is gaining ground with a little less than 50% turning to their mobile phone to connect with LinkedIn.
Personally I use the app the approximate amount of 50%, as I’m constantly clicking the icon on my phone throughout the day. LinkedIn’s app makes it too easy to stay connected. I’m not complaining though; I enjoy staying connected with my network, reading articles of interest, etc.
In the aforementioned post I addressed the Home functionality of the mobile app versus the desktop. Obviously the desktop offers more functionality, but the app has become more versatile. We’ll look at the following features:
- My Network
The first noticeable difference between the mobile app and the desktop is that none of the features are titled on the app. But the icons are so intuitive that there’s really no need for titles, and I imagine the desktop is going to do away with the titles in the near future.
My Network on the mobile app is more difficult to navigate than on the desktop. Clicking on the icon brings you to a view of the number of your connections. You’re given the option to Add contacts, which allows you to send mass invites to your email list. Visible is recent invitations; and below it People you may know.
Note: Clicking on View of connections, you can only sort them by First name, Last name, and Recently added. However, you can’t filter your connections as well as you can with the desktop platform.
To filter your connections, you have to search for people by using the Search feature. This will bring you to a list of your first degree connections. (Inexplicably my number of connections in this view was less than the number I have upon clicking on the icon.)
The tricky part about filtering people using the mobile app is identifying the Filter icon (circled to the left).
You don’t have as much filtering capabilities with the mobile app as you do with the desktop, but you can search for:
- Connections (degree of connection)
- Current companies
- Past companies
The most noticeable difference between the mobile app and the desktop for messaging is that the app’s version is truncated. Only by clicking on your connection’s message can you read the stream of conversation. On the desktop you can see multiple connections. But this is expected, as the desktop has a larger surface.
Both the mobile app and the desktop allow you to search by Unread, My Connections, InMail, Archived, and Blocked, albeit in a different order. (Are you getting the sense that the desktop platform is becoming more like the mobile app?)
With both mobile app and the desktop, you can respond to Inmails by choosing Interested, Maybe later, or No thanks.
One noteworthy difference is that the mobile app has a feature that suggests an opening verbiage for messages, such as, “Hi (name), I notice you’re also connected with (name).” This feature is akin to LinkedIn’s default invite message. No thanks.
This feature allows you to see what your connections have been doing:
- Who’s mentioned you in a post
- Liked your post, liked a post that mentions you
- Is starting a new position; and
- Commented on (someone’s ) post
The differences between this feature on the app and desktop are negligible and hardly worth mentioning. However, there is one major difference: the desktop seems to lag behind the mobile app. In other words, the streaming is slower on the desktop than the app.
Perhaps the most difficult mobile app feature to navigate is Jobs.
My suggestion is to forego the suitcase icon and simply use the Search feature.
The Search feature allows you to find jobs, say in Accounting, and then narrowing them down to Location (allow your device to identify your location, if you like), and if you want to take it further, filter by:
- Most relevant
- Most recent
- Determine how many miles you are willing to travel
- Only show jobs with which you can apply Easy Apply
- Date posted
- Experience level
- Job type
- Job function
When you’ve chosen the job to investigate, you’ll notice—because of the limited surface—the mobile app is not as robust as the desktop version. Some similarities are:
- Number of first degree connections
- Number of alumni
- Job description
- The person who posted the job
- Jobs people also viewed
- Easy Apply
What you don’t get with the phone app are:
- Video of the company
- Meet the team
Like the desktop, you have to use the Search to access your desired companies. The most important reason to use Companies is to locate people who work for your target companies, which is a bit more cumbersome with the mobile app than the desktop.
To do this you must type the company name into Search and choose People, and then use the Filter tool, as shown above. You can filter by:
- Connections (degree)
- Connections of
- Current companies
- Past companies (not shown)
- Industries (not shown)
- Schools (not shown)
The only benefit the desktop version offers is the ability to search by Keyword. The other filters are superfluous. Such as Profile language and Nonprofit interests.
In my opinion, this is the most important feature LinkedIn provides, whether on the desktop or mobile app. This is where real online networking happens. In fact, a blog post can be dedicated alone to using the Companies feature.
When you open the LinkedIn app on your smart phone, you’ll see the power, albeit limited, it has to offer. You’ll also see that the desktop version closely resembles the mobile app.