LinkedIn seems determined to tap into the trends of other social networks, even if those trends don’t immediately seem like a perfect fit for the professional platform.
The functionality is much the same as adding GIFs on Twitter or Facebook – now, when you’re composing a message, you’ll be able to tap the GIF icon and search for a relevant animated image to add to your chat.
LinkedIn’s actually enabled GIF functionality within messages since 2015, along with platform-specific emoji, but the new process through Tenor enables much easier application of GIF content, along with access to Tenor’s vast GIF library.
The focus on messaging makes sense – the use of LinkedIn messages has grown by 60% over the past year, which is largely in line with broader messaging trends. LinkedIn’s been working to boost messaging with conversation prompts with message streams, and new indicators on job ads to help facilitate immediate connections. LinkedIn also added ‘Active Status’ last year, which indicates when a user is online, another prompt to get in contact.
And while GIFs may seem slightly out of place within professional conversations, as noted by LinkedIn:
“For the next generation of professionals, visual communication using GIFs and emojis is second nature and a universal language.”
Add to this the fact that 7 in 10 US adults now utilize visual expressions like GIFs and you can see why LinkedIn would see potential – and no doubt they have various other user metrics which indicate the value of such an addition.
So, now if you want to add an animated image of Minions dancing in response to a professional query, you can, in an easily accessible way. LinkedIn says that GIFs in messaging are rolling out now, and will be available globally within the coming weeks.