LinkedIn adds QR codes for offline networking
- LinkedIn has launched LinkedIn QR code, a mobile app feature designed to help users quickly find the profiles of people they've just met in person so they can connect with them on-the-spot, according to a company blog post. LinkedIn said it aims to make connecting easier for people when they meet contacts at industry conferences, networking happy hours, sales meetings or social gatherings.
- To access the scannable code, users open the LinkedIn app on iOS or Android devices and tap the QR code icon in the search box found on the "home" tab. From there, they can scan someone else's code, bringing them to that person's profile where they can quickly send a connection request.
- LinkedIn suggests that users build their professional communities and continue offline conversations by posting their unique QR code on brochures and event materials, websites, conference badges or directly on resumes.
LinkedIn's QR code generator may not currently have an application specifically for mobile marketers, but perhaps the software tool eventually will be open for advertisers that seek to drive viewer actions on the professional networking site.
The platform of 560 million users has gradually added more features to improve its functionality as a networking tool and job-search site. Its new QR code generator is a helpful way to make its app more useful in face-to-face conversations among businesspeople, one of LinkedIn's key goals recently, per TechCrunch. The QR code could help to replace business cards while also giving users a way to provide a shortcut to their LinkedIn profiles, though it's not clear whether users will want to go through the extra steps and risk fumbling with a phone in the presence of a new business connection.
The feature was announced the same day that LinkedIn added language translation to its platform to support conversations among professionals who work with overseas colleagues or when they meet people at global industry events. Posts that are in a different language from a user's native tongue now show a "See Translation" button within the LinkedIn Feed, per a separate company blog post. Technology that LinkedIn owner Microsoft developed for its Azure cloud computing service powers the translation tool that can handle more than 60 languages.
Snapchat last year extended the functionality of its scannable Snapcodes that directly link to websites and has seen brands like Red Bull and Coach adopt the technology. Spotify and Pinterest have also explored scannable barcodes, pointing to how QR codes may be making a steady comeback after being mostly abandoned years ago for lack of user traction.