New research from Guild, a messaging app built for business, reveals that most professionals no longer see LinkedIn as a platform for valuable business networking but use it for sales, marketing and recruitment.
The survey also shows that users are realising that worthwhile networking is about quality not quantity. Having spent years adding connections of people they do not really know, and have not met, it is becoming clear this is not the way to create real business value.
68% of those surveyed believe that their “little black book” of professional contacts they actually value contains up to only 15 contacts. However, 61% have over 150 LinkedIn connections.
Ashley Friedlein, CEO and Founder of Guild said, “The use of LinkedIn has greatly changed since it launched nearly seventeen years ago. In the early years there was a sense of membership and belonging and the quality was higher.
“Due to a natural tendency to accept new contacts to grow our networks, many users now find themselves with an experience that is too noisy. Senior people, in particular, get a lot of sales approaches and few would now choose to run high value groups or networks on LinkedIn.”
Almost four out of ten (38%) LinkedIn users believe that the platform has become too cluttered for their professional network to be functional. 28% find that LinkedIn is now “full of spam.”
Over half of users (58%) feel it is now more about curating new contacts and business development than looking after the connections they have already built during their career.
Ashley added, “We know from the Dunbar number that humans cannot know, or maintain, more than around 150 relationships.
“and this is true in our professional lives as much as our personal lives. We’re realising we need to focus more on the relationships that actually matter rather than chasing connections for the sake of it.”