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LinkedIn Embraces Gamification: Will it Enhance or Distract from Professional Networking?

LinkedIn Embraces Gamification: Will it Enhance or Distract from Professional Networking?
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LinkedIn, the go-to platform for professionals seeking career opportunities and industry connections, is set to introduce a new feature: in-app games. This unexpected move has sparked curiosity and debate among users and industry observers alike. Let’s explore the potential implications of this venture for job seekers and employers.

The Emergence of In-App Gaming on LinkedIn

In March 2024, reports surfaced indicating that LinkedIn was testing puzzle-based games within its platform. The revelation, initially shared by app researcher Nima Owji and later confirmed by TechCrunch, hinted at games such as “Queens,” “Inference,” and “Crossclimb.” Intriguingly, it was suggested that employee performance in these games might influence company rankings on the platform. Despite these insights, details regarding gameplay mechanics and accessibility—whether exclusive to premium subscribers or open to all—remain elusive.

LinkedIn Embraces Gamification: Will it Enhance or Distract from Professional Networking?
Image Credit – Digit

Exploring the Potential Benefits of Gamification

While the concept of gaming on a professional networking platform may raise eyebrows, there are potential advantages to consider:

  1. Enhanced Engagement: Gamification could inject an element of fun into the LinkedIn experience, encouraging users to spend more time on the platform. Increased engagement may lead to deeper connections, broader networking opportunities, and ultimately, a more fruitful job search.
  2. Skill Development: Well-designed games could indirectly nurture valuable skills highly sought after by employers. As users engage with puzzles and challenges, they may sharpen problem-solving, critical thinking, and strategic decision-making abilities.
  3. Networking Opportunities: Games could serve as icebreakers, facilitating interactions and fostering connections between users. Collaborative or competitive gameplay mechanics may pave the way for meaningful conversations and relationship-building with potential employers or peers.
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Considering Potential Drawbacks

However, the introduction of in-app games on LinkedIn also raises concerns:

  1. Distraction from Job Search: There’s a risk that games could detract users from their primary objective of advancing their careers. Excessive gaming could divert attention from essential tasks such as networking, skill-building, and job applications.
  2. Emphasis on Scores over Skills: The notion of linking employee performance in games to company rankings introduces a potential disparity. Companies with high-performing gamers among their employees may rise in rankings, irrespective of their workplace culture or benefits. This could compromise the platform’s reliability as a tool for identifying top employers.
  3. Unforeseen Consequences: The introduction of games on a professional platform may trigger unintended outcomes. A competitive gaming culture or an unhealthy fixation on in-app scores could emerge, fostering a potentially toxic environment.

The Verdict: A Cautious Approach

As LinkedIn prepares to roll out in-app games, it’s prudent to adopt a cautious stance. While gamification holds promise for enhancing engagement and skill development, it also carries risks of distraction and distortion of company rankings. Monitoring user and employer responses will be crucial in determining the ultimate impact of this novel feature. Only time will reveal whether LinkedIn’s foray into gaming will be a game-changer or a distraction from its core mission of professional networking.

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About the author

Ade Blessing

Ade Blessing is a professional content writer. As a writer, he specializes in translating complex technical details into simple, engaging prose for end-user and developer documentation. His ability to break down intricate concepts and processes into easy-to-grasp narratives quickly set him apart.

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