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If you’ve posted any links on LinkedIn recently, you may have noticed that your link preview image is a lot smaller than it once was in stream.

But not for all posts in your feed, some posts still seem to have the full-width preview image, right?

So what gives?

Well, this is actually part of a change that LinkedIn announced a few months back, which will eventually see all organic posts get the smaller link preview image display, while sponsored posts will keep the previous UI.

LinkedIn link preview update

As explained by LinkedIn:

To help members stay on LinkedIn and engage with unique commentary, we’re simplifying our feed by changing the image size and third-party article link preview for organic posts and Sponsored Content. When an organic post becomes a Sponsored Content ad, the small thumbnail preview image shown in the organic post is converted to an image with a minimum of 360 x 640 pixels and a maximum of 2430 x 4320 pixels.”

In other words, LinkedIn is reducing the size of image previews in organic posts in order to both encourage native posting (via LinkedIn articles and direct updates), while also aiming to increase the use of sponsored updates. Because when you pay to promote a post, it’ll get the full-width preview image once again.

LinkedIn further notes that the change in image preview size will also come into effect whenever a sponsored post is re-shared as an organic update.

LinkedIn link preview update

The update is somewhat similar to how X changed its image previews for third-party links in October last year, in order to discourage people from sharing external URLs.

X wants more long-form content posted directly to the app, so it’s changed the way that shared links appear, making them less appealing, and likely driving down referral traffic.

LinkedIn now seems to be taking the same approach. And users seem less than happy with the change.

As noted by Kristin Thomas, the director of Social Media at Gartner, a key difference on LinkedIn in particular is that professionals who are trying to build a presence in the app don’t necessarily have the time to commit to being full-time content creators, and create unique updates for every post. As such, the change effectively penalizes their posting approach, by reducing the presence of their updates when they use links, which will ultimately degrade the broader LinkedIn experience.

And they do look less impressive, and less engaging in-stream. The smaller preview images don’t have the same click appeal as the larger display, which, as LinkedIn notes, is the intention, in order to “help members stay on LinkedIn.”

But is that a better user experience?

I don’t know, it seems slightly problematic, or maybe just annoying. But regardless, LinkedIn is pushing ahead with the update.

LinkedIn has confirmed to SMT that it’s continuing to roll out the change, which will eventually apply to all organic posts that include external links.

You may want to update your LinkedIn posting approach in line with this.

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