Better late than never. This seems to be LinkedIns attitude as it finally forms part of the group of social media platforms that have added stories to their repertoire of content creation tools.
According to LinkedIn’s official announcement, this decision was taken due to the platform’s interest in a more casual way of creating important and productive conversations within a professional context. Specifically, LinkedIn is looking to reach younger generations that are more comfortable with this format both as creators and as an audience.
This last year, LinkedIn has seen both user and engagement rate growth. According to the professional networking platform, their engagement rates have seen a 25% year-to-year increase. As younger generations grow up and start becoming part of the workforce, it’s no surprise that LinkedIn would leverage stories as a way to attract this new generation to its platform and acquire new members.
“We’ve also found there’s an entire generation growing up with Stories as a way of speaking; they’re more comfortable starting conversations with a full-screen ephemeral format than posting updates and prefer sharing content that lives as a moment in time rather than as an item in a feed, “ states Pete Davies from the LinkedIn Team.
As of now, stories will only be available to LinkedIn members during the first official testing period. While there is no set timeline for its release, this feature is expected to be rolled out to select LinkedIn members in the following months for future testing. This however, wouldn’t be the first time that LinkedIn dips its feet into these types of waters. According to Social Media Today, in 2018, LinkedIn introduced a project called “Student Voices” which made stories exclusively available for college students.
Many may ask if stories are a good fit for LinkedIn due to their light and more informal nature. Many may also ask what possible uses members will have for stories considering the serious and professional tone that LinkedIn inspires. On their announcement, LinkedIn mentions that stories will have a lot to offer by providing a place to post live event snippets, exclusive tips and tricks, as well as a more approachable way to ask for network introductions without compromising your page’s permanent image.
Users are also concerned on whether it is absolutely necessary to have yet another platform that offers stories to its users, or if it is simply redundant. At the end of the day, stories is a tool that has been adopted by all of the major social networking platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and even Pinterest. This might not be an original move for LinkedIn, but it is definitely a safe one. According to Embed Social’s research, 500 million people use stories on Instagram alone, one third of these being businesses. The impact and potential that this tool holds is undeniable and it should come as no surprise that LinkedIn would want to hop on the stories bandwagon. Only time will tell how users will adapt to this tool and whether or not they will be able to carry out LinkedIn’s vision at its full potential.