Native Video Comes to LinkedIn

Earlier this summer, LinkedIn began to systematically roll out their new native video capabilities to select user groups. In fact, I recently got my good news email from LinkedIn:

Hi Jason,
As a LinkedIn contributor, we are thrilled to give you access to share and record videos directly from your mobile app. We’ll be rolling this out to everyone soon, but are opening it up to you and other frequent contributors first.

My first thought? FINALLY. LinkedIn is last of the larger social media networks to finally incorporate native video into their platform.

More details:

In its current form, users with the ability to upload video directly to LinkedIn can only do so using the mobile app. From there, you have 2 options for the type of video you can upload:

  • Record a video directly in the app and post
  • Choose a video from your phone’s gallery to upload

According to a LinkedIn spokesperson, videos are capped at a maximum runtime of 10 minutes. While some may see this as an unnecessary or even arbitrary time limit, I recommend keeping video content to a maximum of 2–3 minutes for social media.

After a day of testing LinkedIn’s native video:

So after a day of testing out the new native video features within LinkedIn’s mobile app, I have to say that the workflow is quick and easy. I’m honestly surprised. LinkedIn was sure to streamline the process and not provide too many features at once. Good call here.

So, I ran 2 tests with the new native video feature…

Test 1: Recording live video with LinkedIn

The process was easy to both record and upload. Playback is smooth and the overlay of comments, engagements, sharing, etc. is nice and flows well. I like it.

NOTE: Weird bug I noticed when trying to capture a screenshot of my live video in the news feed — it distorted the proportions of the video when saving the screenshot. I have a Nexus 6 running Android version 7.0 if any LinkedIn dev peeps are reading this.

Test 2: Uploading video

Every Tuesday, Zack and I upload a new episode of The LunchBreak Marketing Podcast. How fitting! I’ve been wanting to distribute and promote the podcast on LinkedIn, but until now, there hasn’t been an easy solution via video. I use a handy web service called Wavve to create video visualizations of clips from the show, so this was a perfect time to use a clip I already had on-hand from Twitter.

I transferred the video I made for Twitter onto my phone to use for this second test. Luckily, the dimensions for Twitter (1280px x 720px) seem to work perfectly for video on LinkedIn. Uploading the video and posting was just as easy as recording the live video.

NOTE: Keep the bottom right corner of your uploaded video content free of important content as this is where the video timer overlay sits.

Native Video Analytics:

It also appears that we have access to analytics for this new video content. The analytics insights feel similar to the profile views feature available when you don’t have a premium account: some insight that is enough to tease, but nothing of huge value — except for maybe the companies where your video was viewed and the top cities. You could do some targeted campaigns to those companies and/or around those specific cities where you see the most traffic. Who knows? It could pay off. It’s frankly better than not knowing anything.

I have to wonder what greater insights will be available in the future. See the screenshot below for more of the analytics available from LinkedIn’s native video.

NOTE: Combine the data you can see through LinkedIn’s analytics with a free account with Bitly and/or Google Analytics and then you will see some real value in the addition of native video. The video’s only been up for a few hours and already I’m seeing LinkedIn-specific traffic to the podcast.

Feature Wishlist:

  • The addition of native video to the desktop version of LinkedIn
  • Although this would be a nice addition, I have to hope that LinkedIn also takes a serious look at the UX and UI of their current platform. It’s clunky and there are numerous dead-ends, black-holes, and confusing twists when it comes to navigating LinkedIn’s desktop site. Ok. Rant over.
  • Trim selection before uploading. Similar to Instagram, it’d be handy to have the ability to trim down a longer clip — especially since the native video feature is currently only available on mobile.
  • The playback feature on in-app video recording needs work. It might just be an issue related to Android, but I found it redirecting me back to my camera library after hitting the back arrow during playback.

Final Thoughts:

It was seriously about time. Whatever their reasons for waiting, LinkedIn thankfully delivered a nice product. I found a few buggy issues, but it’s otherwise solid.

I’m very interested to see the public response when more and more users adopt video on LinkedIn over the coming weeks and months. Will it be abused? Will it elevate the platform? Time will tell.

Drop your own thoughts below. Cheers.


Originally published at jasonmarlowe.com on August 30, 2017.