Did you make use of the story feature on LinkedIn? No? Well, it seems like you’re not alone. Much like Twitter, just one short year after the feature was introduced, LinkedIn removed their story feature. Clearly, the feature was underutilised and didn’t provide enough value to the site and its users. Therefore, from September 30th the service will be suspended. LinkedIn will begin working on a different method for encouraging short-form content.
This comes as a blow to advertisers who have started putting advertisements between story updates. In a bid to please their users, LinkedIn allows these ads to be shared on their Feeds. Obviously remade to be suitable for use.
What were LinkedIn stories?
LinkedIn introduced their story feature in September last year. According to their Senior Director of Product, Liz Li, they thought their users would enjoy being able to post time-limited informal videos that could add value to their page without being a permanent feature.
This led to the team creating a video posting feature that allowed you to create a short video and have it posted to your profile for 24 hours. Hopefully, encouraging users to share more informal and personal content, boosting their likeability and personality within their networks.
However, the feature did not go as planned and many of LinkedIn’s users failed to post a story at all. This could be due to the overriding professional attitude of the website, with many users preferring to keep it formal, unlike other social media sites.
Why do story features tend to fail?
Does anyone remember Twitter’s Fleets? These launched at a similar time to LinkedIn stories last year. Both are now depreciated. But why? The move to include a story feature was part of a larger web and mobile change up.
It was implemented to allow professionals to stay connected. Mostly important for those working from home. However, as evidenced by both sites removing their story features, the addition didn’t go down too well with users.
In 2013, Snapchat introduced the original story feature. The app has continued to be a major player in the market even with competition from Instagram and Facebook. However, despite their success, story features are not accepted on all platforms.
This could be because of how the users interact with their followers and network. Looking at Twitter, their audience scrolls through a feed. absorbing small sections of written content. The idea of short videos at the top of the feed seems alien to the flow of the site.
When looking at LinkedIn stories it’s a little different. Historically, story features are linked to video or picture sharing social media sites. They are often funny, or creative, but rarely informative. The users of LinkedIn expect a certain level of professionalism in the content they see. Stories don’t tend to fit this image.
What will replace LinkedIn stories?
Research that looked at the usage of LinkedIn stories and the desires of the site’s users led the product team to suspend the feature and investigate other methods of using video on their site.
In a statement about the move away from stories, Liz Li said, “turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise.”In order to facilitate this, LinkedIn is looking for more creative tools to make engaging videos. Seen in a TikTok style form. Yes, the sites share very different audiences. But, a lot of TikTok users share career-relevant information. Content that would have a place on LinkedIn as well. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of LinkedIn stories. We’ll see more creative tools like this added in the future.