After almost an entire year in the wild, LinkedIn is pulling its Stories feature and sending it back to the shop for upgrades. If you’re not familiar, Stories are LinkedIn’s way of allowing its users to share videos and images for a specified amount of time (usually 24 hours) before they disappear. This is a more basic version of what other social platforms are doing with this kind of transient content. Instagram most famously uses this feature and is killing it with its multitude of features and ways to create a Story for your account. I reviewed Stories last year when LinkedIn first introduced them and it seems that some of my concerns were shared by others who provided feedback to LinkedIn, and now they are pulling the feature at the end of September. Check out this notice that I received in my inbox this morning from the LinkedIn Stories Team.
As I wrote back in September of 2020:
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.
They also debuted Stories for Business Pages with the same features as the Stories for Profiles. I wrote about that last October and also suggested ways you could use this feature for your business.
- Micro-Blogs (single screen tidbits)
- Shoutout to a New Blog
- Bite Size Tips
- Services Offered
- Q&A for a single question
- BTS of the Company Culture
- Special Offers
- Case Studies
It seems that LinkedIn has been listening and taking in feedback over this past year and while they did make some changes to the initial features, a larger more structural change is coming.
From the LinkedIn Stories Team update:
We introduced Stories last year as a fun and casual way to share quick video updates. We’ve learned a ton. Now, we’re taking those learnings to evolve the Stories format into a reimagined video experience across LinkedIn that’s even richer and more conversational. We want to embrace mixed media and creative tools of Stories in a consistent way across our platform, while working to integrate it more tightly with your professional identity.
A major piece of feedback they received is that people want their Stories to live on their profiles, much like you can save an Instagram Story to a Highlights area.
You wish videos could live on your profile, not disappear. In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile, and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting. Turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise.
Another bit of feedback was that users wanted more interactive features and better ways to tell their Stories, something that I mentioned when first testing it out. Instagram has had the time and feedback over several years to really expand and knock their features out of the park. I am hopeful that LinkedIn will listen to the valuable feedback of users like myself who want to use a feature like Stories and be able to effectively communicate to our colleagues and potential clients what we can do.
If you’re listening LinkedIn, here’s some free ideas for Stories 2.0:
- 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?
Did you use the LinkedIn Stories feature for your personal profile and/or Business Page? What did you think? What features do you want to see when it comes back?
Tai Freligh is a Los Angeles based writer and can be followed on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram and can be found on his website too. He writes about a variety of topics, including social media and digital marketing tips, entertainment news and exclusive interviews, branding, and more. He is also available on a consulting basis for marketing strategy, content creation, social media management and for brainstorming and answering questions. He is available with both hourly and project rates as well as phone or Zoom consults by the hour.