Following the likes of Instagram and Facebook, LinkedIn is the latest social networking platform to add a Stories feature to its repertoire – and the UAE is one of the first countries to try it out.
The world's largest professional networking site today announced its new LinkedIn Stories feature, allowing users to share photos and videos, of up to 20 seconds, on their accounts.
The UAE is the first country in the Mena region to test out the new feature, where the company has four million users.
LinkedIn says the pandemic is largely the reason behind the introduction of Stories by saying that 20 per cent more co-workers were now having private conversations on the platform, and they had experienced engagement on posts triple. But even further back, in the year from March 2019 to March 2020, it had recorded a 55 per cent increase in conversations between connections.
The pandemic had also, as expected, resulted in a huge boost in the consumption of content. Forty per cent of LinkedIn members say that they read the news more often nowadays, and 30 per cent check social media platforms more frequently.
LinkedIn believes this will mean that, while the tool is freely available to all, it might be particularly useful for publishers and media.
Lynn Chouman, editor at LinkedIn News, says Stories will offer "an accessible and convenient way to share updates, industry news, and professional content".
“With the demand for visual content and mobile-first formats poised to grow exponentially, we believe this feature will provide a creative solution for members to show their professional side with a human touch. We are looking forward to more productive interactions and engagements among our 4-million strong community in the UAE”.
Interestingly, in its information about the new feature, LinkedIn urges users to do almost the opposite of what the feature is used for on different platforms. It warns against being "overly personal" and posting private moments, posting "inappropriate content" that could jeopardise future career prospects and posting about "opportunities to spam personal products or services". Instead, it says to use the feature to post relevant, professional content, educational opportunities and conversation starters for professional news.
How to use LinkedIn Stories
Perhaps not surprisingly, LinkedIn's version works almost the same as the equivalents on other social media platforms. But in case you're unfamiliar with the concept, here's a step-by-step guide:
- On the top left of your "home" feed, you'll now see small circles at the top with the names and photos of some of your connections. These are there Stories.
- To add to yours, click on your name and profile photo, which is displayed with a small "+" sign.
- Use the red button in the middle of the screen to capture real-time videos or pictures, or upload them from your camera roll using the left "camera" button.
- Customise using stickers or text and then click "share story".
- Like other "story" iterations, the post will then be visible for 24 hours. It will only be able to be viewed by your "first degree" connections, so those you have actively accepted as a connection.
- After publishing, you will then gain access to an analytics tool to see who viewed your story.