There's a new way to find your co-workers -- and it's not over Slack or your company's kludgy in-house system. LinkedIn Corp. has released a new mobile app and site for professionals that allows them to search for, learn about and message colleagues, the company announced Wednesday.
The app, aptly called "Lookup," is a corporate directory focused on a user's specific company. LinkedIn Corp. (NASDAQ: LNKD) reported that about 30 percent of people who use the site for search will look up their colleagues. That trend, as well as a survey done in April that showed less than 40 percent of 814 professionals in the United States and Canada use their companies' own directories, inspired the creation of a new product -- LinkedIn's ninth app for smartphones.
While the LinkedIn site and main mobile app prioritizes connections that users have in common in search, Lookup surfaces only co-workers. The feature, available for iOS and desktop, works with any company that has an official LinkedIn page. LinkedIn users must sign in with their company email address -- that ties a user to his or her specific company page. With that distinction, Lookup users can then see anyone on the LinkedIn network who has that employer listed as their current job.
The page will display a user's name, title, past positions and skills, as it does in LinkedIn. It leaves out endorsements, recommendations and mutual connections, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Lookup page will include company email addresses and phone numbers, if a user so chooses. Lookup users also can chat within the app.
LinkedIn is advertising Lookup as the "fastest way to find and learn about your coworkers," as listed on the product's Web page. With Lookup, users can search by a co-worker's name, title, company division or skills. One use for the app, emphasized by LinkedIn, is to find a colleague to help you with a project based on their listed skills or expertise. "We want to help you find and learn about each other because we believe that will make you more productive," Ankit Gupta, a senior product manager at LinkedIn, told Business Insider.
Lookup may not be the most conducive to small businesses and startups with few employees, but LinkedIn's new feature could be adopted at larger corporations for projects that stretch across departments. Many of these companies do, however, have their own internal systems.
But as LinkedIn research showed, not all of them are well-liked. Slack, an office messaging app, has proved that a more attractive interface and easy usability can support quick adoption by even wealthy and established Fortune 500 companies. Valued at $2.8 billion, Slack "may finally sink email," the New York Times predicted. Microsoft, IBM and several other vendors also are targeting the workplace collaboration market.
As to LinkedIn's growth, Lookup follows the company's continued push toward mobile products. Mobile now accounts for 52 percent of overall traffic, LinkedIn reported. The company reported $712 million in revenue last quarter, beating analysts expectations, and its new apps have been met with high interest. LinkedIn Job Search, released in March, had 2 million downloads between April and July.