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LinkedIn at VidCon? Yes, LinkedIn Works and Plays With Video

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VidCon is all about tweens screaming for their YouTube favorites, right? Well, the conference gets broader every year, and nothing shows that more than LinkedIn’s participation. The networking-at-work site embraced video in 2017 and debuted at VidCon in 2018. An enthusiastic response brought it back.

“I think creators are the cornerstone of what we’re doing here with content,” said Peter Roybal, LinkedIn’s video product manager, in a fireside chat. While LinkedIn is still all business, video has helped it tap into a new energy, and Roybal finds that exciting. He’s still surprised as the way members use video on the platform, such as for hashtag challenges.

“We’re very much in listening mode,” Roybal said. Responding to member needs, he’s focused on making hashtags easier to find and helping with discoverability. Video lets members and organizations create 360° views of events, such as the forum at Davos.

On LinkedIn, video tends to fall into one of two areas. First, it builds community in niche industries, helping those with very specific professions group together. And second, it fosters a broader conversation around career topics like leadership, motivation, and success tips. One challenge for Roybal is creating the right balance between those two areas.

Another focus is making it faster and easier for members to share videos. People need to feel comfortable sharing, and that means taking cues from other video platforms. LinkedIn recently began offering on-screen emoji stickers people can use when shooting with the LinkedIn camera. The platform also recently introduced emoticon reactions, letting viewers click to show what they think of a video. It’s all about creating the right tone. “We think there’s room to be playful,” Roybal said.

Once LinkedIn began offering video, adding live video became its most-requested feature. It began offering live video in beta in February of this year, and that’s transformed a site that people visited daily or weekly into one with real-time engagement, where members come back often to be part of the conversation. Members are using live streaming to talk to followers and hold AMAs. Some of these sessions run four hours, the maximum LinkedIn offers for live streams.

“It’s exceeding expectations,” Roybal said with a smile.

Photo: Peter Roybal in a VidCon 2019 fireside chat.

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