LinkedIn has always been a different kind of social media site. Typically used for networking and connecting with people on a business level, engagement was never its primary purpose. LinkedIn was more of a resume for those looking for jobs or clients.
That is changing. And that change is starting with their version of stories that have become so popular on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.
What are stories?
On the aforementioned platforms, Stories are a temporary post accompanied by a photo or video. These types of posts often garner more engagement than traditional posts. This probably encourages more engagement because they are image first posts. And research has shown that video and photos are the most consumed content in the last few years.
LinkedIn has been testing its stories in a few countries for the last few months. The stories shared there have had similar content one finds on LinkedIn. They relate to work, influencing and job searches. But with images being the primary focus.
This move to a more social platform does not mean that LinkedIn users should post overly casual or intimate content on these stories. This is still a professional networking site. Employers and potential clients use LinkedIn as a way to learn about a candidate.
It does, however, allow you to showcase skills that traditionally were harder to show on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has suggested stories be used for “lightweight conversations related to your work-life.”
This is a potentially great way to show your personality and the type of worker you are in these conversation-like stories. A beautiful way to connect with others about work, your experiences and how you approach day to day work-life.
This is not a vlog. This is not where you go to complain about work or your boss or your clients. Remember this is your professional self. This is the self you bring to interviews. Whether you are looking for work, clients or recommendations, others want to see the positive, hardworking and enthusiastic you.
At this time, there is no paid content or advertisements, but that does not mean it will not be coming down the road.
It’s About Time
Many people are shocked that it has taken LinkedIn so long to update its platform. A Microsoft company, LinkedIn has previously not ventured out into this space.
While it does seem like LinkedIn is behind by just now introducing stories to its platform, CEO Ryan Roselansky says it was because they were taking their time to figure out how these ephemeral posts related to the work environment.
And in a COVID-19 world, their answer was: they replace the water cooler talk!
In addition to adding stories, LinkedIn is also adding a video chat feature. Again, shocking that this professional connections platform is just introducing this. LinkedIn will be partnering with Zoom, Blue Jeans and Microsoft Teams for video conferencing.
These new developments could be because for years LinkedIn has enjoyed solitude in the professional social media arena, but recently companies like Upstream, Lunchclub and Clubhouse are threatening that solitude.
These new startups are offering happy hours, conferencing and industry events. This adds much more dimension to the platforms than what LinkedIn has been offering.
Upstream is an invite only group. To be invited, a member of the Upstream Earlybirds group or another initial group must invite you.
Lunchclub started off as a popular platform for those in the tech industry, but more and more industries are starting to enjoy it. Lunchclub has been around since 2018 and matches users up one on one by their interests.
Clubhouse left beta mode in March. This is a conversation based app. While users can use the calendar to plan conversations, many of them happen spontaneously.
These new apps are still working out the kinks for sure, but another thing is for sure. There is a fire lit in the leadership at LinkedIn. I would imagine more changes will be coming sooner than later.