We knew it was coming…Stories on LinkedIn…just not when. Well, turns out the new feature was just launched on September 24th as part of a major redesign of the entire LinkedIn platform. Along with making the LinkedIn experience easy, inclusive, enjoyable, and putting the community front and center, they have added a more human way of sharing with Stories. Here’s the 411 along with some questions and future features I would like to see added to make the platform more engaging and interactive.
From LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslanky’s post about the redesign:
Our vision of creating an engaging, supportive, diverse, and respectful community is coming to life and thriving. And our site redesign comes at a crucial tipping point, as we see record numbers of members turning to the platform to share their stories, get support, and help others.
Based on that need to connect, we’ve also added a more human way of sharing by introducing Stories. No, Stories aren’t new in the industry, but we took the time to understand how this format fits in the professional context that defines everything we do and what happens on LinkedIn. Through tests in various regions around the world, we’ve seen members adopt this format to connect more personally and less formally with their peers and friends. In the COVID world, LinkedIn Stories are letting people replace those essential water cooler moments.
Having used the feature a lot since it launched last week on my own LinkedIn Profile, I like what I am seeing so far. You can’t help but make the comparison to the Instagram Story, which by this point, is killing it with features. Granted, it has been available for a few years now, so they have had time to receive and incorporate feedback and make changes. This launch of Stories on LinkedIn is a great start with limited features. At this point you can share photos and 20 second videos and add stickers and text and also tag people. The selection of stickers is pretty limited, but you can write however much you want in the text section and can tag multiple people (other than yourself).
The feature seems to already be evolving as customer feedback comes in as they have added the ability to message certain people in Stories and reply with a set of emoji responses. Also new this week is the ability to resize and rotate stickers, although you could already do that with finger motions.
LinkedIn Stories is a nice addition to LinkedIn, allowing for a more informal and behind-the-scenes approach to your work and life through photos and videos. I hope to see more features added in the coming days and weeks as more and more people use the feature and explore what is possible.
As someone who has been using Instagram Story for a few years now, I would love to see the following features added to LinkedIn Stories. If you’re going to steal an idea, steal from the best and steal the best! So, let’s see…
- Polls – you can do this on the main feed, but adding this to Stories would make it a lot more interactive.
- Questions – right now LinkedIn Stories has a pre-filled question of the day that you have no control over, other than adding it to your Stories and asking people to respond in theirs. Asking questions in your Stories would increase engagement and could be used in tandem with a photo or video.
- Links – this is perhaps the biggest area that LinkedIn could get a jump on Instagram. Users on Instagram have to have 10,000 or more followers to be able to add a hyperlink to their Story right now. It’s basically treated as a reward for those who take the time to use the platform and build up their followers, but it’s a huge roadblock for the majority of users, including those who casually use the platform. If LinkedIn Stories allowed ANYBODY to add a link to their Stories, it would be a huge win IMHO. In addition to posting a link to your latest blog on the feed, you could share a snippet or photo on your Stories and add the link.
- Highlights – the ability to add Stories to your profile as permanent, again, like Instagram, but a nice feature.
- Desktop version – right now the Stories are only available on the mobile version, which limits the reach and audience of Stories greatly. It is also not very easy to get to your Stories on the mobile version. To steal functionality, again, from Instagram, they should make clicking on your profile pic take you to your Stories and they should allow desktop access, like Instagram and Facebook now do.
- Tagging – yes, I know that you can currently tag other people, but you cannot tag yourself. The mentions feature on Instagram Story allows you to mention yourself and add a sticker or GIF asking folks to “follow” or “like”. This lets people click on the mention tag and go right to your Instagram profile. Imagine if you could add that to your LinkedIn Stories and send somebody right to your profile or business page to follow or send a connection request?
This last feature wish list item brings me to my final thoughts on the new Stories features.
I would love to know what goes into the algorithm for which Stories you see at the top of your feed and what sorts of qualifications there are for being featured. Some of the folks whose Stories I see give me the option at the bottom to message them and others do not. I wonder if that is a feature of that particular person’s settings or if it’s because of their privacy settings. It also appears that only folks already in your network are featured in the list of Stories. I haven’t looked at it enough to determine if that is the case or if it’s just the folks that are within 3 degrees of you or your network? I think that surfacing accounts that might be of interest to me, but not necessarily within my 3 degrees of connections would be an invaluable tool.
So, have you used the new Stories features yet and what do you think? How are you using them and what features would you like to see added? Drop a comment below and SHARE this post if you found it helpful or think somebody else would find it useful.
Tai Freligh offers digital marketing and social media services through his company Tai Freligh Consulting, as well as tips, exclusive entertainment interviews and the occasional dog and cat picture. Catch me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn on my Tai Freligh Consulting company page. You can also drop a connection request to me on my LinkedIn profile.