Skip to main content

People Also Viewed is (soon to be “was”) a feature on your profile where LinkedIn shows a short list of people similar to you. In LinkedIn’s words, “It was designed to help find relevant members you may consider connecting with.” Despite its name, the People Also Viewed list was not just based on other profiles viewed similar to yours, but also on similar job titles and industries. One nice aspect about it was you could turn it off if you wanted to – and as the list essentially offered your profile visitor other profiles to leave yours and visit, turning it off was a good idea. 

Starting Feb 29th, LinkedIn will replace People Also Viewed with a feature called “Other Similar Profiles”. The interesting thing here is that LinkedIn already has a feature that has been around for a couple years that sounds like this. When you would see someone in search results there would be a clickable link saying “View Similar Profiles” and based on things like length of experience and job titles, LinkedIn would show you “similar” people. 

So in most ways, likely with the exception that LinkedIn’s Artificial Intelligence fetish is being indulged, “Other Similar People” doesn’t seem that different from “People Also Viewed.”  

The really only interesting aspect to this new feature is you can’t turn it off.  

When all this came to light last week – I received an email about it from LinkedIn on Thursday Feb 15 – I thought initially that this was a crappy idea, with LinkedIn foisting more artificial intelligence created features on us, but then I thought back to my own history with People Also Viewed. I used it in my very early LinkedIn days as an adjunct when I did a search. In my early days when I wasn’t very good at searching (“inept” would have been a charitable description), this was a handy tool, but I progressed in my search abilities pretty quickly, and thinking about it now, I haven’t paid attention to a PAV panel in years. It’s noise, like the little ads that appear here and there on LinkedIn. 

The bottom line is that regardless of its source and how LinkedIn derives the people who appear on it, Other Similar People is just a distraction. Anyone who is really looking for someone – whether they be a  recruiter or someone using LinkedIn for prospect or competitive research – sure doesn’t need this feature to accomplish their job. It’s a feature for newbies, something to keep them wandering around LinkedIn.

While the fact that it can’t be turned off, and the fact that LinkedIn emailed me about this change, when LinkedIn makes changes to features every week without alerting me, makes me a little nervous, based on what we know now, this is a feature change that won’t make any real difference.


At Practical SMM, we pride ourselves on delivering highly effective LinkedIn strategies.