LinkedIn launches games as a new way to connect

LinkedIn is adding games to the platform as a new way for professionals to share and connect.

Want some amicable water cooler talk that won’t result in someone spoiling the hot new TV show before you’ve had a chance to catch up?

Three cellphones, each displaying a different mobile game, on a blue and white background.

That’s LinkedIn’s thinking with new puzzles available now on the professional platform.

Games, you say?

Yep, there are three, playable on both desktop (in the LinkedIn News column) and mobile:

  • Pinpoint, a word association game
  • Queens, a logic game
  • Crossclimb, a word trivia game

Each can be played once daily, taking a few minutes to solve.

Why games?

You may remember when seemingly everyone was sharing their Wordle scores and debating the best starter word.

Experts suggest that because Wordle is easy to play and to share, it fulfills our needs for control, connection with others, and competence.

LinkedIn is betting that same shared experience will translate to its games, giving users a way to bond with co-workers, colleagues, and new contacts.

  • For example, leaderboards will display rival alma maters and companies in the same industries to inspire camaraderie and friendly competition.
  • Users can also see which connections have played the same games, offering an opening for conversation.

Short daily games…

… like this can be habit-forming, but not time sucks, encouraging people to return to a platform or outlet repeatedly for a quick break, and also to read articles or otherwise engage.

The New York Times has seen substantial growth by using that model in its $6/month gaming subscription. In 2023, the app was downloaded 10m times and the NYT enjoyed a 10% bump in Q3 subscription revenue.

And as for LinkedIn, we’d gladly take someone sharing a puzzle score with us versus an awkward “hope this message finds you well.”

Fun fact: The daily Pinpoint and Crossclimb puzzles are created by Paolo Pasco, LinkedIn’s games editor and the winner of this year’s American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, in which players are ranked for accuracy and speed across eight puzzles.

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