LinkedIn Technology Centre

Everyone wants to do video now. Professional social networking site LinkedIn will now allow influencers to post 30-second videos on topics and news . To begin with, the company has invited more than 500 Influencers on LinkedIn to share their thoughts on trending professional topics and news.

Influencers are a hand-selected group of more than 500 “of the world’s foremost thinkers, leaders, and innovators” — a list that includes the likes of Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington and Guy Kawasaki.

When an influencer posts a video, that video will appear directly in user’s feed where they can weigh in with a comment, and respond to comments from other members, the company said in its blog.

It is interesting to see LinkedIn taking another step into video following its $26.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft. Earlier last month, Microsoft also said that it is building a video streaming service similar to YouTube called Stream for companies and organizations.

However, LinkedIn’s latest approach to video seems more closer to Facebook rather than YouTube. In August 2015, Facebook had launched its own livestreaming service through its Facebook Mentions app where verified influencers and celebrities could engage with fans and audiences. This was subsequently extended to all users in February. Similar to LinkedIn, people watching the stream on Facebook can comment, and the people making the stream can see those comments in real time.

The company has over 433 million registered members across the globe. In the quarter ended March 2016, it reported 106 million average unique monthly visiting members.

LinkedIn’s Lynda acquisition

In 2015, LinkedIn bought online tutorials and training platform Lynda.com for $1.5 billion. The deal was a combination of ~52% cash and ~48% stock. Through the deal, LinkedIn was able to get Lynda’s library of premium video content across professional topics and languages. In addition, job seekers on the site would be able to sign up for/be prompted to get accredited on needed skills at jobs through Lynda.