Sayonara, business cards: LinkedIn offers QR codes and translations

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New LinkedIn features make it even easier to instantly connect with those
you meet—no matter what language they speak.

The social media platform recently announced QR codes for profiles. Open
the app on your smartphone or mobile device, and scan the person’s code to
visit his or her profile, where you can send a connection request.

Alex Xiong, senior product manager at LinkedIn,
wrote in the company blog:

Whether you’re at an industry conference, networking happy hour, sales
meeting, or social gathering, we know how tough it can be to remember names
and exchange contact info so you can stay in touch afterwards. Connecting
on LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional community, and we
want to help make this even easier for you — wherever those connections
take place.

… The next time you’re at an industry event and meet someone that you want
to keep chatting with, open the LinkedIn app and scan their QR code to
connect and stay in touch. Gone are the days of requesting a business card,
asking the person to spell their name, or handing over your phone to make
sure you found their profile.


[FREE DOWNLOAD: 10 techniques to beef up your networking]

You can find your own QR code by clicking on the QR icon in the top of the
home tab (within the search box). From there, you can share it in a
plethora of ways.

Xiong wrote:

There are a bunch of creative ways you can use your LinkedIn QR code to
build your professional community and continue your offline conversations
online. For example, put your LinkedIn QR code on brochures and event
materials, on your website, on conference badges or lanyards, in your email
signature, or directly on your resume.

If you’re connecting with international audiences, LinkedIn has also made
it easier to network online and share insights on its platform.

Posts that are in a different language than you speak will now show a “See
Translation” button within the LinkedIn Feed, the recent activity section
on someone’s profile, and the post detail page.

LinkedIn senior product manager Zack Hendlin
wrote in the company blog:

We show you the “See Translation” option based on signals such as your
language setting, the country you’re accessing LinkedIn from, the languages
on your profile, and other factors. We then compare it to the language
we’ve identified a post as having to see if you might need it translated.
These translations are powered by
Microsoft Text Analytics API, an Azure Cognitive Service, which also powers translations for Bing,
Skype, and Office. And since Microsoft is continually improving translation
quality, you can expect translations to get better and better over time.

The “See Translation” feature is available in
more than 60 languages
including Spanish, Japanese, and German to a majority of global members on
desktop and mobile web. This feature will be coming in the next few weeks
to the LinkedIn iOS and Android apps, and we’re constantly growing the
languages supported.

The features simplify and expedite the networking process—guaranteeing more
for building relationships instead of hunting for potential connections.


In both cases, the features are likely overdue. The lingua franca of
LinkedIn seems to be English, but the platform has a large global reach,
and as it continues to try to expand to a wider range of later adopters and
different categories of users, having a translation feature seems to be a
no-brainer. It would also put it in closer line with the likes of Twitter
and Facebook, which have had translation options for years.

The QR code generator, meanwhile, has become a key way for people to swap
their details when they are not already connected on a network. And with
LinkedIn this makes a lot of sense: there are so many people with the same
name and it can be a challenge figuring out which “Mark Smith” you might
want to connect with after coming across him at an event. And given that
LinkedIn has been looking for more ways of making its app useful in
in-person situations, this is an obvious way to enable that.

The announcements also underline the increasingly digital nature of
personal branding and content. You can use the platform
to land your dream job, but many communicators use it
to share their organizations’ content and updates with consumers
increase their personal visibility and influence
through LinkedIn posts.

With LinkedIn’s QR codes and translation services, you might no longer
require carrying business cards to your next event or meeting.


Many companies have tried to digitize or replace business cards in the
past. The website was one of the most well-known, but apps like
BizzCard and SamCard also gave it a shot, with varying levels of success.

LinkedIn’s established popularity could give it an edge in finally doing
what others before it have tried to do—killing the business card. At tech
conferences, at least, it is common to hear the phrase “Let’s connect on
LinkedIn.” Now, that can be accomplished almost instantly, without the need
to tally up business cards at the end of the night or try to remember when
the interactions took place, or what was talked about.

PR and marketing pros should take advantage of these features by making
sure their LinkedIn profiles shine.
Start with these tips
to make your profile smart and snappy and then
follow this advice
to ensure your profile opens up even more opportunities.

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