I have known for a while now that #LinkedIn uses algorithms to determine what content we should see. I always wondered why I get so many updates but also as to how annoying it is that no sooner do you see something interesting, the second the page is refreshed, it’s gone and buried somewhere way down the list. There is little hope of finding it again, especially for those of us with the lesser levels of patience.
I used to find it fascinating (still do actually) to hear people sharing tips on how to work with the algorithm. They use different tactics to persuade viewers to click on 'See More', 'Like' or 'Comments’. For example, space your content out, use an intriguing first line and if others want to see the rest, they have to click on ‘See More’; Tap into people’s emotions by sharing something very sad, angry or happy; even something controversial so people will voice their opinion. All because these engagements will help the algorithms to learn that your content is popular, therefore it will prioritize your content to more users in your network.
But today, I decided to TRY to take control of what I see. I was shocked to find how difficult it is to beat the system.
Step 1, I wanted to see who I was following...
A total of 1500+ people and companies… I had no idea how I ended up following so many and;
obviously, it is impossible and unnecessary for me to keep up with everyone’s updates. But with 1500+ contacts, it’s astonishing, especially as I am certain that I did not physically click on ‘follow’ that many times. Therefore, I can only assume that it was quietly done for me. @LinkedIn.
Step 2, I started to unfollow people. BTW, if you want to do the same, here is how.
When it came to unfollowing people, the experience wasn’t as effortless and seamless as where you chose to follow. No surprise there….
After physically clicking on over 300 people/companies, I managed to get the number I am currently following down to 1200+ before I ran out of time and got tired.
Was this another intentional design by LinkedIn to make the process of unfollowing that bit harder?
I will most definitely continue the auditing process on my account over the next number of weeks. However, this experience has made me even more concerned about how technology and AI are affecting our behaviour. They were supposedly designed to help us to make better decisions and even UX is supposed to be focusing on the users.
Why is there such as huge difference between the following and unfollowing experience?
All I wanted to do was to decide what content I want to see but it is no longer a simple task today.
P.S. I am all about making meaningful connections and I will continue to make more connections on LinkedIn (apart from where I don’t like strangers sending me requests without a message of some sort).