LinkedIn Launches Native Video To Boost In-Feed Engagement

LinkedIn is rolling out native video, which will allow users to record and upload video directly to the platform, the company said Tuesday, after a beta test that began earlier this year.

The tool will gradually be available to all individual LinkedIn members over the next few weeks. LinkedIn expects to make the tool available to companies as well within a few months.

LinkedIn’s video offering is autoplay without sound and qualifies a view at three seconds – similar to Facebook.

The maximum length for a video is 10 minutes, though LinkedIn recommends durations be between 30 seconds and five minutes.

Given Facebook debuted native video well over two years ago, LinkedIn is late to the race. But LinkedIn is looking for ways to increase member engagement, and in-feed video is a logical next step.

And despite comparisons to Facebook’s offering, LinkedIn thinks its video offering is uniquely positioned.

“Audience analytics are a key differentiator,” said Peter Roybal, senior product manager for LinkedIn. “Creators are able to learn about the audience for their video by seeing the job titles, companies and locations of people who watched, as well as the number of comments and likes.”

LinkedIn aggregates that info, so a marketer could only see their video viewers’ roles or companies.

And although LinkedIn is mum on its plans for monetization in native video (there is no revenue share yet for creators and no pre-roll), there are implications for advertisers given LinkedIn’s breadth of demographic information around business audiences.

“Marketers can reach a relevant professional audience through organic sharing – people recommending videos to others in their professional networks,” Roybal said. “We’re also seeing that video is being shared 20 times more than other content types.”

But data notwithstanding, LinkedIn still needs to work out both video measurement and video monetization. Paid video on LinkedIn exists, but it’s not supported by LinkedIn itself.

Instead, it’s mostly driven by referrals to other sites – like YouTube or Vimeo, said Vinodini Suresh, social advertising strategist at B2B media agency DWA. “[LinkedIn’s video products] will be a great tool for B2B marketers once the video is hosted on LinkedIn and can drive traffic to the advertiser’s landing page.”

And marketers will want more video-specific metrics as well, she added.

“We’re currently unable to get video performance within LinkedIn Campaign Manager, which would be helpful for measurement on our end,” Suresh said. “We can only see how many times a video was served or clicked on, but nothing specific to video (e.g., three-second view, completion, etc.).”

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