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What The Dwell Are You On About?



So you may, or may not, have heard about LinkedIn's update to their algorithm to include the "dwell time" metric. This new update will help define the kind of content each user sees on their news feeds.


Here's how LinkedIn explains it:


"At a high level, each update viewed on the feed generates two types of dwell time. First, there is dwell time “on the feed,” which starts measuring when at least half of a feed update is visible as a member scrolls through their feed. Second, there is dwell time “after the click,” which is the time spent on content after clicking on an update in the feed."

So what does this mean, Jess? - Well, I'm glad you asked!


Gone are the days of people using punchy headlines to get you to click "...see more", only for you to scroll through their content to find out it's a load of bollocks and swiftly retreat.


Now content creators need both a punchy headline and some kick-ass, thought-provoking or educational content that actually are relevant and appealing to their audience. The kind of stuff that people actually want to "dwell on"... (Get it?)


Not only that, but people won't be able to rely on just line-bashing their way through their post in the hope that people will click to expand the post - LinkedIn have cottoned on to that - just to try and beat the algorithm. You know who I'm talking about, the people who fill their posts with line after line in order to try and drag their post down a whole two pages so that you have to click on that button to see the rest of their content.


That click has, up till now, been a key factor in determining the reach of LinkedIn's algorithm, which they noted in their overview of dwell time:


"We train our machine learning models to predict several quantities for each possible click and viral action (click, react, comment, share). The outputs of these models are then synthesized into a single score using a weighted linear combination. Finally, this score is used to perform a point-wise ranking of all the candidate updates."

It is important for users and marketers who use LinkedIn regularly for their business/ brand that they come out with content that not only makes a user engage but also increases the amount of time spent on their posts.


For those of you who are already posting interesting updates every day, this probably won't affect you too much.


However it will most definitely have an impact on the 'Sir-Share-A-Lots' of LinkedIn. People who hit the "share" button constantly, with no regard to their audience and offer no kind of perspective on their own thoughts of the subject will most definitely be wounded by this latest update. (Thank god, maybe I'll see less of them!)


Going forward, the successful posts won’t be the ones that are most engaged with, but that also has the audience spending their time consuming them.


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