LinkedIn Launches Suite of Daily Puzzle Games to Boost User Engagement

LinkedIn introduces three daily puzzle games, Pinpoint, Crossclimb, and Queens, to increase user engagement and time spent on the site. The games allow users to compete with connections, share scores, and build professional network ties.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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LinkedIn Launches Suite of Daily Puzzle Games to Boost User Engagement

LinkedIn Launches Suite of Daily Puzzle Games to Boost User Engagement

LinkedIn, the professional networking platform with over 1 billion users, has introduced a suite of three daily puzzle games in a move to increase user engagement and time spent on the site. The games, dubbed Pinpoint, Crossclimb, and Queens, offer users a refreshing break from professional networking while allowing them to compete with connections and share scores.

Why this matters: This move by LinkedIn signals a shift in the platform's strategy to increase user engagement and retention, which could have significant implications for the future ofprofessional networking. As the digital landscape becomes increasingly competitive, LinkedIn's foray into gaming could set a new standard for social media platforms to incorporate entertainment features to stay relevant.

Pinpoint challenges players to identify the common category linking a series of words, with only one word revealed at a time, requiring strategic guessing to minimize the number of guesses. Queens, inspired by Sudoku, tasks players with placing crowns on a grid, ensuring each row, column, and area contains only one crown, with no adjacent queens. Crossclimb blends trivia and wordplay, having players fill a ladder using their knowledge, rearranging words so each differs by one letter to finally reveal two final clues for victory.

Users can play each game once per day and view which of their connections have participated. Leaderboards for companies and schools add a competitive element. "It is hard for people to stay in touch with each other, and games provide a way to build these network ties," said Dan Roth, the VP and editor in chief of LinkedIn News.

LinkedIn's foray into gaming follows the immense popularity of online brain teasers like Wordle, which sparked numerous clones aiming to leverage heightened user interest in word puzzles. The New York Times, which acquired Wordle in 2022, has seen a notable increase in user engagement, time spent, and even digital subscriptions. The Times' Games app was downloaded 10 million times last year, generating $280 million in annual revenue.

The LinkedIn games were created by its News division, which recently added games editor Paolo Pasco. Pasco, who worked for the American Values Club puzzle and won this year's Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, brings expertise to the development team. The games are accessible on the My Network page on both mobile and desktop versions, and also in the LinkedIn News area on the desktop site.

Reactions to LinkedIn's gaming venture have been mixed. Some users have expressed support, citing similarities to The New York Times' successful gaming feature. Others have raised concerns that the games might distract from LinkedIn's original purpose of job searching and networking. However, Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, notes that companies can expand user experiences in new ways if they understand their customers well enough.

Digital media veteran Eric Hippeau believes games absolutely belong on LinkedIn, emphasizing the power of casual gaming, which generates $80 billion in annual revenue for mobile games alone. By introducing these daily puzzle games, LinkedIn aims to enhance user engagement, strengthen professional connections, and appeal to a wider audience in an increasingly competitive digital environment.

Key Takeaways

  • LinkedIn introduces 3 daily puzzle games: Pinpoint, Crossclimb, and Queens.
  • Games aim to increase user engagement and time spent on the site.
  • Leaderboards for companies and schools add a competitive element.
  • Games are accessible on mobile and desktop versions of LinkedIn.
  • Move signals a shift in LinkedIn's strategy to stay relevant in a competitive digital landscape.