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LinkedIn Makes Its Debut In the Live Video Space

Tech

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Engagement on LinkedIn has skyrocketed with the addition of video. Their next frontier? Support for live video.

You can finally participate in live video with your friends from work.

Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter (via its Periscope product), Instagram, and YouTube, LinkedIn entered the world of live streaming this week as it announced the debut of LinkedIn Live.

In debuting this feature, LinkedIn’s director of product development Pete Davies recognizes the demand it addresses. “Live has been the most requested feature,” he said, an unsurprising fact given the astronomical growth of video on the site. By one statistic, video content performs twenty times better than posts with text alone. Creating new ways for users to utilize video was the next logical step in capitalizing on that demand for content.

The still-in-beta tool will allow users and companies to live stream key elements of their professional experiences, like conference keynotes, product announcement, executive Q&As, and more staples of engagement that build on 2017’s launch of video on the platform. It’s unknown when the feature will roll out to LinkedIn’s 600 million global users, but it can currently be requested via contact form.

Whereas other platforms have focused on real-time, largely unedited footage for their live video, LinkedIn Live will elegantly integrate with third-party apps like Switcher Studio, Socialive and Brandlive to allow users to create and polish their live broadcasts. Given the professional and more produced nature of LinkedIn as a platform, such integrations feel appropriate. LinkedIn Live also marks the most high profile integration of the platform with its largely silent parent company, Microsoft; its Azure cloud solution will play a major role in the feature’s support. However, another Microsoft-owned product—Skype—is uninvolved in the Live effort.

This considerable pivot toward video promises to create a more dynamic feel on LinkedIn, a platform long lamented for feeling stuffy and overly formal. While live video has the potential to still look composed and produced, it also affords opportunities to share less staged parts of a connection or company’s personality. As the tool rolls out to more users, the impact it has on the site’s overall feel and tenor will be fascinating to watch.

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