LinkedIn Launches App to Help You Cyberstalk Co-Workers

Find out where that weird guy from accounting went to college.

A screenshot of LinkedIn Lookup.

A screenshot of LinkedIn Lookup.

LinkedIn just made a big realization: Many people search for information about own co-workers on the site.

That’s a bit of a surprise considering that people can just walk down the hall and ask a co-worker where they went to college or where they’ve worked in the past. Plus, the site’s most active users are typically people between jobs trying to make new connections.

So LinkedIn created a new app to capitalize on the trend — and it just might revolutionize the way people manage inner-office relationships. Called LinkedIn Lookup, the app helps people find, learn about and contact their co-workers. Users can search for people with specific skill sets, learn about their newest co-workers, and connect with them through email, phone or chat. The app displays a person’s photo, title, work experience, education, skills, and work email address — even if both people aren’t connected on LinkedIn.

It basically replaces a key function of your company’s intranet site. After surveying 814 professionals in North America, LinkedIn found that only 38 percent said their companies’ intranets are effective at helping them learn about their co-workers, so 46 percent of people lookup co-workers — where else — on LinkedIn.

“It’s easier to find co-workers on LinkedIn, and the professional info people add to their profiles is more comprehensive and up-to-date than lots of companies’ intranets,” said Ankit Gupta, the company’s senior product manager in a blog post announcing the app launch.

“There’s an old saying,” he continued. ” ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ Unfortunately, these days it’s harder to know your co-workers than it is to know professionals outside your company.”