As the pandemic continues to disrupt live events and force companies and industry groups to look for alternative ways to network and connect with the community, LinkedIn has seen a huge increase in live events taking place on its platform, creating Live events in the application are growing by 150%, compared to the previous year.
Which makes sense – LinkedIn is, after all, a professional social network and where business leaders are increasingly looking to establish professional connections. And now, as it seeks to maximize its potential on this front, LinkedIn is adding some new elements to its live event tools, which will provide more capacity to connect and interact within the LinkedIn environment.
First, LinkedIn is launching an initial test of its own Clubhouse-like audio event platform, which will allow users to engage in live discussions in the app and participate by raising their virtual hand to join as a speaker or post likes in response to a chat.
As you can see here, the format is very similar to Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, with separate panels for those who are ‘on stage’ and speaking, and those who adapt below.
LinkedIn has been developing its live audio tools since March last year, at the height of the Clubhouse hype cycle, and although it took some time for the platform to develop its own option, it could still serve a valuable purpose within LinkedIn, providing greater professional connectivity within industry meetings and discussions.
LinkedIn also notes that it has a solid capacity to highlight the most relevant audio sessions to each member:
“We have a professional context to recommend the most relevant events that can help you learn, network and be successful, and we invest more in presenting these events to you. Whether it’s a creator event or a page you follow, or a topic that interests you, we’ll discover events that will help you achieve your career goals.”
Discovery remains a key challenge for social audio tools, and given LinkedIn’s professional focus, which helps ensure spam and off-topic discussions are somewhat limited, it could be well positioned to highlight more relevant sessions for each user.
LinkedIn also uses the format of its audio rooms as a kind of template for its other live meeting functions, including video events:
And live streaming for one user:
This will expand the capacity of the platform to host virtual discussions and bring together industry leaders in new formats, which, in turn, could be of great value in the context of LinkedIn and help expand the use of the platform for live events.
Of course, ideally, we will all be able to return to IDP events sooner rather than later. But with the Omicron variant of COVID now increasing the number of cases again, it looks like we’ll really be living with the virus for a while longer.
Even when live events are able to take place, these new linking options on LinkedIn will serve a valuable purpose, especially as more businesses move to hybrid workflows, with more people spending more time in different locations instead of be tied to physical business space. As employees move away from larger cities, it could also affect the capacity for business leaders to come together for such events – but virtual meeting tools like this can ensure that such sessions can continue to take place, no matter where each participant is.
The development could serve a valuable purpose – LinkedIn says its new event options will be tested “several thousand creators who will lead events on various topics and topics “
“We will expand the possibility of hosting audio events to more creators in the coming months, and later this spring we will start introducing our video event format.”
It should definitely be monitored – we will keep you informed of any progress.
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