In the past few weeks LinkedIn has launched a new feature that allows users to connect with people they meet during meetings, conferences and events. LinkedIn's Find Nearby Feature allows LinkedIn to scan nearby devices using Bluetooth for their approximate location and is only available to users who choose to opt in and stay discoverable for any duration of time they set.
The message “LinkedIn would like to make data available to nearby Bluetooth devices even when you’re not using the app. We will help you connect with others that are nearby,” will appear on a user’s phone when LinkedIn tries to access the feature.
It’s unclear as to how far the range is when identifying nearby users who are also opted into LinkedIn's Find Nearby Feature, with reports being as low as 10 meters.
Beta testing began in May of 2017 and “Find Nearby” is now launching globally.
In my eyes, this is a huge step forward for LinkedIn considering it’s widely used as a network for professionals. Many of us attend conferences, meetings and events hoping to connect with other thought leaders and professionals in the industry, but sometimes it’s difficult to catch or remember their name.
It reminds me of a professional Snap Map, showing that a connection is nearby, but the range obviously isn’t as large as Snap Map.
LinkedIn's Find Nearby Feature is a great way to start the conversation digitally and encourages others to walk up to someone nearby and introduce yourself, or even serves as a reminder to make that introduction.
I often quickly jot down people’s names in my memos on my phone and add them at a later date on LinkedIn. In the future I’ll have to try out the Find Nearby Feature and see what kind of success it garners when making connections and if it’s actually useful.