LinkedIn announced a new feature "Discover Members Nearby" in the past year 2017. This feature discovers the names and profiles of your first-level connections who are nearby based on your current location. It is only available through the LinkedIn mobile app and should be a big benefit for those who primarily communicate through this network.
"We're constantly exploring new ways to maximize the benefits of LinkedIn. One of the features we're excited to be working on is the ability to find other LinkedIn members nearby. This feature will provide you with opportunities to network with other LinkedIn members at conferences, events, and more in your proximity."
- LinkedIn representatives
How to use this LinkedIn's feature?
Open LinkedIn app on your mobile device, tap the "My Network" and then tap the "Find nearby" at the bottom.
To use this feature, you need to turn on bluetooth.
One the bluetooth is turned on, the feature is activated and starts searching for people in first level connections (people you're directly connected to because you've accepted their invitation to connect, or they've accepted your invitation) who are nearby based on your current location. You can also choose whether people nearby can discover you only when on this page, for the next day, for the next 3 days or during weekdays 9am - 5pm.
Is this "real-life" networking working?
The aim of LinkedIn has never been to eliminate personal contact and to transfer all communication to the online environment. Their priority is to facilitate the first phase of online communication and then promote face-to-face communication. So, they created the "Discover Members Nearby" feature to guide you to reach out those who are nearby and build strong professional connections.