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LinkedIn Maps the Social Cloud

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 25, 2011 04:30 PM

LinkedIn is taking a page from Facebook. “Your professional universe…visualized,” is the tagline of LinkedIn’s new Spirograph-like InMaps feature, a stunning map of one’s LinkedIn contacts via a virtual cloud.

InMaps creates a web of dots mapping your contacts’ relationships — to you and each other. Click on any contact in the cloud and connection highlights appear in the sidebar.

Color coding lets users sort connections into eight relationship clusters such as job, industry, social media contacts, or classmates. InMaps offering instant insight into one’s digital footprint: the influencers, bridges and connections. A landing page with a user’s LinkedIn InMap includes Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn share buttons.

Bigger is better InMaps, as the social graph requires a minimum of 50 network connections and a profile at least 75% complete to use it.

"We are frequently asked, 'What does my network look like?'" comments DJ Patil, LinkedIn's chief scientist. "They just don't understand what their network needs and how to leverage it. This is one of the first visual ways to see your social network of friends and find common patterns and interests." 

With about 90 million members worldwide, this shiny new digital bling adds cloud cachet to LinkedIn network, and helps position the online brand as a social network and not just a virtual Rolodex.

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