LinkedIn said Thursday that it's rolling out a new design for the business-oriented social network, introducing more messaging features and planning to offer Stories, which lets users post photos and videos that vanish in a day, globally.
LinkedIn has been testing Stories in certain countries such as Brazil, Australia, France and the Netherlands. Now the company said it's launching Stories in the US and Canada but will also roll out the tool globally during the following week.The upcoming global rollout of Stories shows that LinkedIn, like other social networks, is fueling the creation of more video and ephemeral content on its platform.
Ephemeral-messaging app Snapchat first released its own Stories feature in 2013. Other social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter have created their own versions. Pinterest on Wednesday said it was testing its Stories tool, allowing users to add music, text and voiceovers to video and photos. Pinterest's version of Stories, called Story Pins, doesn't involve content vanishing in 24 hours.
LinkedIn said its members who've been testing Stories have used the tool to share photos and videos of their home-office setups, chat about job opportunities and talk about what they're doing at work or about free-time activities. LinkedIn Stories also asks members a question of the day, such as what they're working that day or how they recharge on their days off. Members can also add local stickers to Stories.
"It provides members with the freedom to share more authentically," Liz Li, the director of product management at LinkedIn, said in a video shared with press.
The growth of Stories features on social media sites comes with challenges, because any new tool can be abused to share misinformation, hate speech or other offensive content. Content moderators have to examine a series of photos and videos in a Story and act fast, because the posts vanish in 24 hours.
At the same time, Stories can prompt people to post more content on social networks. because they know the content won't stay in their profiles. Increasing engagement on these sites could help social networks sell more ads.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn is also getting a new look designed to make it easier for the social network's more than 706 million members to navigate the site and app. The makeover includes more white space. Kiran Prasad, vice president of product at LinkedIn, said in a video that the new design is "much more simple, much more modern" and has less blue, a color associated with the social network. Users will be able to use the search bar to find groups, content and events, he said.
LinkedIn is also pushing further into messaging as more members use the tool on the social network. Users will be able to select multiple messages at a time to archive or delete. They'll also be able to delete or edit a sent message and react to a message with an emoji. And messaging on LinkedIn will include icons for videoconferencing services BlueJeans, Zoom and Microsoft, so users can video chat with the tap of button.