It may come as little surprise, it may seem like an odd fit. Either way, LinkedIn has this week confirmed that it's working on its own version of Stories which will be rolled out to all users soon.
As explained by Pete Davies of LinkedIn:
"Stories first appeared on Snapchat, with other platforms like Instagram and Facebook adopting them soon after. They spread for a good reason: they offer a lightweight, fun way to share an update without it having to be perfect or attached to your profile forever. Does that exist in the business world? I’d hope that most of my interactions in the break room or passing people in the hall are similarly ephemeral and light."
Leaning into this, Davies says that they're currently testing LinkedIn Stories internally - though there's no timeline for a full rollout as yet:
"We’ve learned so much already about the unique possibilities of Stories in a professional context. For example, the sequencing of the Stories format is great for sharing key moments from work events, the full-screen narrative style makes it easy to share tips and tricks that help us work smarter, and the way Stories opens up new messaging threads makes it easier for someone to say, “and by the way… I noticed you know Linda, could you introduce me?”
Of course, this isn't the first time LinkedIn has given Stories a look. Back in 2018, LinkedIn started testing its first iteration of LinkedIn Stories, though only for university students.
That version, which LinkedIn called 'Student Voices', was rolled out to college students in the US, and aimed to help people at different universities interact and share their experiences. The logic here was that with Stories becoming a more essential tool for communication among younger audiences, the platform could provide a more familiar sharing surface, which would subsequently encourage more engagement.
Davies has noted the same in this new development:
"We’ve also found there’s an entire generation growing up with Stories as a way of speaking; they’re more comfortable starting conversations with a full-screen ephemeral format than posting updates and prefer sharing content that lives as a moment in time rather than as an item in a feed."
Even back in 2018, LinkedIn noted that it was planning to roll out Stories to more users - and while we don't have any screenshots of the new LinkedIn Stories variation as yet, you would expect that it will look much the same as the above, with your profile image replacing the campus logo.
Will that be effective? Will Stories be a winner on LinkedIn?
There are already rumblings of criticism within social media circles - but then again, Instagram Stories was widely criticized too, and it now leads the way in terms of Stories usage. Facebook Stories is also regularly chastised by commentators (myself included), but Facebook Stories use is rising over time.
You may not like the format, or its repurposing by every other platform - but then again, as LinkedIn notes here, it may not be for you. Stories is how the next generation of social media users are communicating, and leaning into that, across all platforms, looks to make more and more sense.
So, soon we'll have Stories options on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, while Pinterest also has 'Story Pins', which are a variation on the same. Twitter also just purchased Chroma Labs, which specializes in Stories content - which doesn't necessarily mean we'll see Twitter Stories anytime soon. But we might.
It feels somewhat unoriginal for each platform to be following the other, but as noted, the trends indicate that Stories are what younger users, in particular, feel increasingly comfortable with. And in that context, it's logical that the platforms are working to move in-step.