LinkedIn users are about to get their own version of Instagram Stories. The professional social networking platform rolled out a beta version of a new feature, LinkedIn Live.
As it stands, Live is an exclusive club, invite-only. But the platform says interested users who didn’t make the first round of cuts can request access within the next few weeks.
LinkedIn Live won’t come equipped with cute summer-themed stickers or funny face filters. But it does promise a platform where users can stream content to a (potentially) receptive audience.
Participants of the closed beta now have the ability to broadcast live content to groups, their network, or even all of LinkedIn.
Why do we need LinkedIn Live?
Initially, we heard the news and thought, do we really need LinkedIn Live? It sounds a bit like the network is trying to get in on the Live streaming action a little bit late.
We’ve just learned that the pivot to video was based on a lie — and here, we have LinkedIn trying to be relevant.
But, considering the feature further, it seems like it’s actually a pretty useful tool. Brands using Instagram Stories get a ton of engagement through the use of filters, shoppable links, and most of all — a slick set of visuals.
See below example from Airbnb. They’re killing it on the aesthetic front. They’re a “cool” brand with tons of visual content — images from global travel destinations.
Where LinkedIn Live adds value is, it’s a platform for industries that don’t quite have the Instagram “it” factor that startups and e-commerce brands have. Instagram doesn’t make sense if you’re a thought leader in the logistics business or an industry titan in clean energy.
How will LinkedIn Live work?
The concept is pretty straightforward. LinkedIn told TechCrunch that their hope is that users upload live broadcasts that appear in feeds alongside blog posts, shared content, and status updates.
So, this might take the form of Q&A sessions, announcements, talks, and webinar-type content.
LinkedIn does have several deals in the works with third-party developers that will give LinkedIn users access to professional-grade broadcasting tools for a more polished approach to live-streaming.
Live is the latest in a slow move toward video content
LinkedIn isn’t the earliest adopter in the social media game, but they do understand the value of video. They’ve been rolling out a series of video features over the past year and a half, clearly gearing up for the big launch.
In October, LinkedIn announced stickers and overlays (like Snapchat) which give users the ability to create event frames that conference attendees can use with the photos they post.
Video filters and text overlays have a distinctly “Stories” vibe, though some of the stickers are pretty dorky. The side hustle option is… cringe-y.
Internal data reports that LinkedIn users are 20 times more likely to share a video on the social platform than other channels like Facebook or Instagram.
LinkedIn’s director of product management, Pete Davies says that Live has been the most requested feature. But it’s also important to highlight that it stands to be a big revenue generator. Last summer, the company introduced video sponsored content — which apparently sees 30 percent more comments than non-video ads.
While LinkedIn is a little late to the game, it seems like they’ve got some quality features on the way. No word, though, on how long it will take for LinkedIn Live to become available to the general public.