LinkedIn has added a new feature to its user profiles: the option to record 10-second audio clips to let others know how to pronounce your name.
The recordings can only be added via LinkedIn’s mobile apps on Android and iOS, but playback is accessible on both mobile and desktop. To add a recording, simply head to your profile on a mobile app, click View Profile, then Edit, and then “Record name pronunciation.” Step by step instructions can be found here.
The feature is a simple one (Facebook has offered a similar option with digital pronunciations for years) but extremely welcome on a networking site like LinkedIn. It’s designed to minimize awkward or unprofessional mistakes when speaking to contacts for the first time: something that’s even more important when the pandemic has meant that face-to-face meetings are limited.
“Everyone, including myself, makes mistakes when pronouncing other people’s names,” Joseph Akoni, a product manager at LinkedIn who helped develop the feature, told The Wall Street Journal. “I’ve encountered this personally with my Nigerian middle name — there’s a 99% chance someone won’t pronounce it correctly on the first try.”
People have reported seeing tests of the feature for a while now, but LinkedIn said in a blog post this week it’s now rolling out the option to all of its 690 million users this month.
One question invited by the feature, though, is whether people will misuse the ability to place a 10-second audio recording of their choice on their profile. After all, LinkedIn is home to some very, shall we say, zealous business types always willing and able to extoll their own virtues. Let’s hope pronunciation guides don’t turn into 10-second CVs.