LinkedIn started off the new year by retiring its Answers feature.

LinkedIn kicked off the new year with flying colors, announcing it had surpassed the 200 million monthly active user mark. This milestone represented the professional platform’s enormous and steady growth over the past few years, and the service spent much of 2012 introducing new features for its members. However, LinkedIn started 2013 by discontinuing its Answers option as of January 31, 2013, MarketingLand reports.

The Answer section of the site saw engagement rates declining, and in a recent email sent to members, LinkedIn indicated it will focus on discovering more engaging ways to share across the network. While Answers saw its engagement decline, marketers still generated a lot of buzz through LinkedIn, but through features like Groups and multimedia posts.

As the email highlights, members already hold discussions with questions and answers in Groups. This trend led more users to join active forums on the site, rather than pose independent questions themselves. In addition, Polls and standard status updates also make questions and answers visible on LinkedIn.

For social media marketing professionals using Answers to generate buzz on LinkedIn, strategies must be refined. The Groups function can help brands engage with audiences more efficiently, and marketers may want to focus and distribute social media content in active forums to capitalize on the growing network’s influence in the marketplace.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.