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LinkedIn Builds a New Pulse App to Try to Personalize Your News

The new, rebuilt version of the app aims to provide you with a Facebook-like personalized stream of content.


LinkedIn is taking a page from Facebook’s playbook.

The professional network on Wednesday debuted a new version of its Pulse reader app, which serves up stories based on things like who you’re connected with and where you work. In other words, it’s an attempt to provide you with a Facebook-like personalized stream of content. The old version of the app allowed readers to follow certain publications or categories, but didn’t personalize the feed in any other way.

The new app, which is actually a new app and not an update to the existing Pulse app, uses machine learning to understand what types of content you’re interested in, explained Pulse co-founder Akshay Kothari. It’s a similar experience to what you might find on LinkedIn’s feed, which already does some of this personalization, but without all the extra clutter about your connections getting new gigs or job openings you may like.

“The idea is very simple,” Kothari explained. “How do we become this personalized business digest for you in the morning?”

Pulse’s new look works a lot like Facebook, which uses an intricate algorithm to show people stories and posts from their friends and brands. Pulse looks to be using the same approach, with similar feedback mechanisms — you can hide stories on Pulse to help the app learn what you like and don’t like. (This is Facebook’s suggested method for curating News Feed, too.)

But Kothari was quick to point out one difference between the two services: On LinkedIn, each story includes the reason that you’re seeing it. For example, you may see a story on Pulse because “Your connection Kara Swisher was mentioned in the news.” Pulse includes this explanation so if you see something you’re not interested in, you’ll know right away how to remedy the situation.

The new app and content strategy could be an important one for LinkedIn from a revenue standpoint. Pulse won’t include advertising right now, but it’s on LinkedIn’s radar, said Kothari. Facebook has shown that there is a lot of money available for targeted News Feed ads. Pulse is nowhere close in size to Facebook, of course, but it could offer LinkedIn another revenue stream down the line.

The new app is available on iOS and Android beginning Wednesday. The existing Pulse app will continue to work until the end of the year, at which point LinkedIn will shut it down.

This article originally appeared on

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