Professional social LinkedIn launched a new feature today that has tons of promise: the ability to follow new hires, departures, job postings and more at particular companies. It’s pretty awesome to have a newsfeed of company updates across your sector of interest, as an employment-o-phile (I love hearing about people’s jobs) this seems like a feature I’d really enjoy.

Unfortunately, the implementation is a big disappointment. The condescending, pageview hungry attitude that colors so much of what LinkedIn does is all over this new feature as well. I’ve recorded a short screencast tour of the feature below. Let me know if this drives you as nuts as it does me.

To be fair, the company says this is only the beginning and that there is more development of this feature on the way. It’s hard not to be cynical about it though, as LinkedIn does things just like this all the time. There is also the ability to customize which kinds of company updates get delivered in your LinkedIn email newsletter, and maybe that will work out great for the stuffed-shirt-Blackberry wielding crowd, but the social media users the company seeks to connect with need more and better ways to consume this information!

There is a feed of your network updates you can subscribe to, but it’s filled to the brim with imported tweets and the most low-value LinkedIn updates like new friend connections. Please oh please, LinkedIn, why can’t you just make it easy for your users to get clear notifications of when people and companies make job changes and hires, in an interface of our choosing, so that we can come back to LinkedIn if we want to read more? It’s maddening.

We’ve been complaining about this for years and the company keeps coming to us saying “you’re going to love what we’ve got to show you next!” But new developments continue to have the same limitations. It’s a heartbreaking loss of opportunity for all parties involved.