So overall my feeling is that LinkedIn is trying to create the impression of a regular email newsletter by sending it to inboxes while maintaining control of the audience as you would expect from a social network.
LinkedIn has had this functionality for a while and it used to be called “Series”. It’s now been rebranded and made look a bit more like a regular newsletter. It will be interesting to see if it takes off, but I know that most newsletter authors are sceptical. If anything they have learnt that ceding control to social media algorithms is dangerous.
While discussing LinkedIn’s newsletter push, I found out that Facebook is experimenting with newsletters, too.
Mike Isaac wrote
about Facebooks “New Product Experimentation Team” in the NY Times:
Facebook is exploring the creation of new products such as apps and programs for podcasts, travel, workplace services and newsletter tools, according to three people with the knowledge of the company’s plans, as it looks to expand out of its comfort zone.
There are few details other than an FAQ
published by Facebook in July when they created the team. According to the FAQ the objective was to create more room for experimentation than would have been possible under the Facebook name:
We decided to create this separate developer name to help set the appropriate expectations with people that, unlike Facebook’s family of apps, NPE Team apps will change very rapidly and will be shut down if we learn that they’re not useful to people.
The projects of the NPE team seem to be extensions of Facebook’s current apps, and newsletters are clearly an interesting direction:
Early ideas include breaking into the travel industry and planning itineraries and things to do, as well as combining travel activities with the most “Instagrammable” locations in an area, one of the people said. Other concepts have focused on “neighborhood” communities, tools for creating newsletters and fact-checking “fake news,” and apps for vehicles.
So nothing specific yet, but something to keep an eye on.