On Monday the LinkedIn announced a new Follow Company button that lets individuals follow a brand or company page. The feature is essentially an expansion of functionality that was already in place, but from within the network itself. Now companies can allow individuals to follow them from outside the LinkedIn ecosystem by clicking on a button embedded in their websites.
According to the blog post by LinkedIn product manager Mike Grishaver announcing the new feature, AT&T, Starbucks, Sony and American Express, among others, are already using the button on their sites.
There are four ways to follow a company, including the embeddable website button. On LinkedIn itself, you can click a follow button on the company’s page, directly from a search results page, or by hovering over the company name in contact’s page and clicking on the follow link in the pop-up window.
LinkedIn says it has more than 2 million companies and, as of early February, about 150 million members.
The 2 million companies is up from almost 1 million since the spring of 2010 when LinkedIn launched its original Follow Company feature. At that point, there was no way to receive status updates from companies, a function that didn’t appear until later in 2011.