If you’ve noticed that your LinkedIn follower count somewhat dipped within the last week, this could be the reason why – according to a recent LinkedIn alert, shared by user Sachin Shah, LinkedIn is no longer counting ‘hibernated or restricted accounts’ in your follower or connection numbers, which could see the removal of a lot of profiles from your LinkedIn stats.
“In order to better support LinkedIn members and contributors with more reliable engagement and reach insights, restricted and hibernated accounts will no longer be included in the total number of followers and connections listed on a member’s profile. Going forward, we’ll regularly update all members’ connection and follower counts to remove restricted and hibernated accounts. This is part of our efforts to build a safe, authentic, and transparent experience, helping reflect a more accurate view of your audience.”
Hibernated accounts, for clarity, are LinkedIn profiles that members have deactivated for a period of time, as opposed to completely shutting them down. The update does make sense, and really, it probably should have been measured this way all along. Then again, Twitter and Facebook include restricted profiles in their stats, so it’s not really different from how other apps count this element.
It’s a logical update from LinkedIn, which couldn’t have come at a better time, seeing as how the platform also recently said goodbye to its last remaining 59 million Chinese users, amid its recent ‘InJobs’ Chinese platform shutdown. Given that its total member count is already set to decline in the millions, perhaps now is the best time to update its audience measurement processes – although it’s not clear whether or not LinkedIn will also stop counting hibernated or restricted accounts in its overall member stats.
As of now, that overall member stat is somewhat misleading – LinkedIn supposedly has over 930 million members. While that’s impressive, it’s also important to note that ‘members’ and ‘active users’ are two different things. When compared to something like, say, Instagram, which has over a billion active users, LinkedIns 930 million members, on the surface, seems close, but really, LinkedIn’s active user count is only somewhere around 474 million, which is way less than the figure it communicates.
To include inactive accounts in this stat only further muddies the water. So, hopefully, this marks the beginning of a new move towards increased transparency. Then again, it probably also won’t. It would be handy to know exactly how many real active users LinkedIn has. However, it doesn’t seem like it would be in the platform’s best interest to share this now and avoid a negative comparison to other social apps that LinkedIn currently competes with. At the end of it all, at least your personal follower count will be more accurate, moving forward.