LinkedIn introduces puzzle games to boost user engagement

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LinkedIn, the professional networking platform under the Microsoft umbrella, has rolled out three puzzle games. On May 1st, the platform revealed Pinpoint, Queens, and Crossclimb, inviting its vast user base of over a billion individuals worldwide to engage themselves in a new form of digital entertainment.

These games are designed to exercise the mind, and can be accessed through LinkedIn’s mobile application or website. Users can find them within the My Network tab on mobile devices and desktops, as well as in the LinkedIn News section on desktops.

The emergence of these games mirrors the immensely popular Wordle, a word puzzle that has captivated audiences globally. Wordle’s success story has prompted various clones and adaptations, reflecting a growing trend in user interest toward mental challenges.

As reported by Money Control, since its acquisition of Wordle in 2022, The New York Times has witnessed a surge in user engagement and digital subscriptions, underlining the impact of gaming offerings on audience interaction.

The development of LinkedIn’s games was spearheaded by the platform’s News team, which recently welcomed Paolo Pasco, a seasoned games editor known for his work at the American Values Club Crossword. Pasco’s expertise in crafting engaging puzzles has been instrumental in the creation of Pinpoint, Queens, and Crossclimb.

So, how do these games operate?

Pinpoint: A word association game where users decipher the common category linking five words within a grid. With only one word revealed at a time, players must strategically guess the category using as few words as possible.

Queens: Drawing inspiration from Sudoku, this logic game challenges players to strategically place crowns (queens) within a grid. Each row, column, and region must contain only one crown, with the added twist of ensuring no two queens are adjacent, all within a specified time limit.

Crossclimb: Blending trivia with word puzzles, this game combines elements of crosswords and word ladders. Players leverage their knowledge to fill out words in the ladder, rearranging them so that each subsequent word differs by only one letter. Success unlocks two final clues, leading to victory.

According to Lakshman Somasundaram, director of product management at LinkedIn, these games are designed to integrate into users’ daily routines, offering moments of mental stimulation between work or leisure.

Moreover, the LinkedIn News team will provide daily insights and interactions around each game, encouraging a vibrant puzzling community where users can exchange tips, engage with creators, and forge new connections.

The introduction of these puzzle games is positioned to enhance user engagement on the platform, establishing deeper connections and restoring interactions among members.

As Somasundaram aptly puts it, “You’ll likely notice people you haven’t caught up with in a while are playing too, reminding you that it’s time to grab coffee again.” With the launch of Pinpoint, Queens, and Crossclimb, LinkedIn continues its mission to enrich the professional journey of its diverse user base through innovative and engaging experiences.