LinkedIn has decided to shift into the video space with the release of a standalone iOS app called Record. It lets you use 30-second video clips to respond to curated topics established by LinkedIn’s editorial team, or start your own. This offering is being made available to LinkedIn’s 500 influencers, to begin with, but it could gradually be expanded to more users.

“In addition to LinkedIn being a place to look for your next job, it’s a place to find information,” said senior product manager Jasper Sherman-Presser. He shared that the company has been investing pretty heavily in this idea, harnessing professional knowledge and helping users build a reputation around sharing things they’re interested in. The introduction of videos is another step in that direction, allowing people to share something “lightweight and easy so you’re not sitting down to type out a 1,000-word post.”

Using LinkedIn Record, influencers can cycle through topics that may be of interest, such as education policies, technology needs, artificial intelligence, or even tips for how to avoid pitfalls when pitching to venture capitalists. Then, with the app, they’ll record their thoughts on the topic, just like on Snapchat, but without the ephemerality or filters. Once a clip is done, it can be shared with LinkedIn followers.

LinkedIn Record mobile app

Videos can be shared with others, but can’t be embedded at this time, although that’s on the roadmap. Threaded replies are not supported either, meaning that influencer clips can’t be associated with one another.

If you aren’t a designated “influencer,” you will still be able to view videos from influencers you follow. They’ll appear right on your LinkedIn feed on the web and on mobile. What’s more, after watching the clip, you’ll be shown other related influencer-created clips about the same topic. “It’s like diving into a multiple-minute panel,” as Sherman-Presser described it.

Developing a native video offering is new for LinkedIn — it has displayed video but only in the tutorials that it picked up through an acquisition. LinkedIn explained that after a few years focused on growing its publishing platform  — through its acquisition of Pulse and launching an influencer program, among other efforts — it was time to add video into the mix.

“We’ve been kind of testing this very quietly with our influencer base, and have seen a ton of repeat usage,” Sherman-Presser shared. “For members, being able to every day come to LinkedIn and hear from people they respect at the top of their game and sharing a glimpse of their world is a success for LinkedIn.”

With all the other services that have already adopted video capabilities, to say LinkedIn is behind the curve is an understatement. Facebook and Twitter, for example, have both invested heavily in the space. Does LinkedIn plan on diving into livestreaming, just like Periscope and Facebook Live? It is in the back of the team’s mind, admits Sherman-Presser, but right now “our focus is on helping members be productive and successful…Whatever we do has to fit into how members use the product.”

LinkedIn Record is currently only available on iOS. Influencers will have to use the app to post video clips — it won’t work with any ordinary webcam.

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