LinkedIn is undoubtably a valuable, even essential, service these days, but that doesn't meant the site is all that easy to use. If you've ever shaken your head in frustration at the mess that is the LinkedIn Inbox, we have some good news for you: The company has just completely redesigned its messaging experience. Gone is the stodgy old email-style inbox, a feature that was reminiscent of the worst parts of old web mail. In its place is a chat-style interface that LinkedIn expects will encourage shorter, quicker back-and-forth conversations. It's along the lines of Facebook Messenger, Hangouts and every other web-based messaging app you've been using to communicate with your friends and colleagues.
LinkedIn is even throwing in GIFs, emoji, and stickers in an effort to catch up with how people are using chat these days. While the utility of GIFs in LinkedIn might be up for debate, you can also attach photos and documents -- tools that might be more useful in LinkedIn's business-focused context.
Whether or not you need to send emoji to your business contacts, the overall redesign makes a lot of sense. The last thing anyone needs is yet another email-style inbox to check. With LinkedIn's new focus on shorter messaging, keeping up with your contacts there should be less of a chore. The update is live on LinkedIn now, and the company says it'll be pushing out an update to its iOS and Android apps soon as well.