Professional social network LinkedIn has launched a series of changes to its homepage and added a new system of navigation.

LinkedIn homepage

Navigation

The main difference is that LinkedIn has replaced the previous tab-style header with a number of drop-down menus:


LinkedIn header

Drop-down menus are not normally my favourite method of website navigation as they can be fiddly, especially when the cursor moves away from the menu and you have to start over again.

However, LinkedIn has at least kept the number of options to a minimum. The menu also stays on even when you move the cursor away, which makes it easier to use.  

The new navigation style has been pushed out across the entire site, which ensures a consistent look:

LinkedIn navigation

Widgets

Having launched a developer platform in December, LInkedIn has now added more widgets to the site. The platform is more limited than other social networks’, and new widgets need to match the ethos of the site.

As well as the related news module on the homepage, a customisable widget on the right hand side displays LinkedIn Answers related to your industry, as well as potential contacts and jobs.

LinkedIn widgets

Snapshot of profile

On the left of the homepage, LinkedIn now gives users a snapshot of their profiles, giving information on current number of contacts, as well as allowing users to display their current status:

Traffic to the professional network has been rising fast lately. LinkedIn currently has around 20m monthly users.

Related research:

Social Media Briefing – October 2007

Related stories:

LinkedIn preparing for IPO?

Social Networks – is the novelty wearing off?

Second-tier social networks feel the pain too