LinkedIn Looks to be Testing its Own Versions of Reactions and Stories
Before we begin, a quick note - these tests have not yet been confirmed by LinkedIn (we've asked them), but they have been spotted in some form of testing. That means they could be for real, they could be a limited test - basically, they might never see the light of day.
But the reports suggest that LinkedIn is working on a range of Facebook-like features, including Reactions, GIFs in comments and, yes, its own variation of Stories.
As you can see, LinkedIn's reactions are more aligned to LinkedIn posts - Wong describes the options as "Like", "Clap", "Insightful", "Hmm", "Support".
It seems a little to Facebook-like for LinkedIn, but then again, it could be a good fit, and LinkedIn has been working to add in other Facebook-style tools, including event filters and video stickers.
So, maybe LinkedIn Reactions makes sense? No doubt traditionalists will frown upon the addition, but it could help LinkedIn boost engagement - which, according to parent company Microsoft, is currently at 'record high levels'.
Wong has also discovered that LinkedIn is testing a new GIF button on its comments option, another Facebook-like feature.
Again, not what you'd conventionally envision for LinkedIn, but GIFs are hugely popular - it's not that out of place.
Now, there are various provisos here. As you can see from the screenshot, the Stories tool is tagged as 'Student Voices', which suggests that this is part of LinkedIn's higher education tools, and likely not the main app (at least at this stage). LinkedIn's been working on new ways to better connect with students and student communities, and given the popularity of the Stories format, it may well be a good fit within this section.
That doesn't necessarily mean LinkedIn's going full Stories and rolling out its own variation of the option. But it doesn't mean it isn't either. Again, it could be a limited test, or a mock-up, LinkedIn have not confirmed at this stage.
Either way, there are some interesting considerations. As we noted recently, when Pinterest rolled out its new, Instagram-like 'following' feed, over time, more and more features are being merged between apps, and more of them are starting to look much the same.
But they do provide new opportunities. If LinkedIn does, in fact, roll these tools out, there'll be new options to consider.
UPDATE: LinkedIn has confirmed that it is testing its version of Stories to TechCrunch, starting with Student Voices and eventually extending to other user groups. Stories everywhere.
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