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LinkedIn expands messaging with Video Meetings

LinkedIn launches new video meetings

Is LinkedIn going to be the new Skype, the new Zoom, or has it missed the boat entirely?

The professional social media network has launched its version of video meetings. Video meetings sit within its messaging platform and provide a way of getting face-to-face without downloading a separate app.

Crystal Hsieh, Senior Software Engineer, LinkedIn

“With over 744 million members on LinkedIn, we want to make professional conversations more personal by helping members meet face-to-face over video, especially in this time of hybrid and remote work where many of us cannot meet in person.”

The ease of kicking off conversations straight from LinkedIn messaging will benefit some users in the form of reduced friction, probably much like it does on Facebook Messenger.

The ability to hop directly into a video chat will be helpful for sales and business development professionals specifically and even probably for users looking to catch up with old colleagues.

It isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination to see LinkedIn lead generation ads spinning off the new feature. LinkedIn launched Messaging Ads in 2020, and there’s an interesting potential crossover here also.

Crystal Hsieh, Senior Software Engineer, LinkedIn

“By adding video conferencing as a part of the messaging experience, members can connect virtually while maintaining the context of their existing conversation.

We’ve also included LinkedIn-specific profile information, which provides members with useful context about their conversation partners. To assist those who want to connect beyond messaging, we have also built smart actions that recommend when to schedule a video meeting.”

It’s pretty easy to start a video chat – click the ‘create video meeting’ option within the chat window. It will also display LinkedIn information at the bottom of the video screen to provide further information about each person on the call.

Never miss an opportunity

The new feature could help sales and marketing teams to connect on a deeper level with people they’re trying to make initial contact with through LinkedIn. It could also facilitate more off-the-cuff chats and knowledge sharing – rather than planned out and scheduled Zoom meetings.

How much value this will bring each individual is up to their role and the core business, but there could be something in it if casual, social chats are your bag.

Linked also wants to develop:

  • A calendar to make it easier to schedule meetings and receive reminders.
  • Messaging chat while in a video conversation.
  • Screen sharing and virtual backgrounds.
  • Group chats.

Crystal Hsieh, Senior Software Engineer, LinkedIn

“Our investment in video meetings has opened innovation for video conferencing across the LinkedIn ecosystem, with potential use cases ranging from messaging peers to interviewing candidates.

As the professional landscape transitions to a mix of in-person and virtual communication, we are committed to building the best possible video meeting experience for our members.”

Previously LinkedIn’s video chat offer was via app integrations rather than a native solution.

Video development beyond just ads

LinkedIn video meetings form part of LinkedIn’s multiplying video stack.

For example, in April last year, LinkedIn brought a video tool that allows employees to ask job candidates to submit video responses to set questions.

Video Intro was designed to make interviewing candidates easier while the world was in lockdown and face-to-face meeting impossible.

Blake Barnes, VP Product, LinkedIn

“With Video Intro, once you receive applications for a job posting, you can invite the most qualified candidates to answer up to two questions from a list of options that include questions, such as “Tell me about yourself,” “What is your greatest strength?,” and “Describe your most challenging project.”

Candidates can choose to submit their answers via quick video recording or written response.”

LinkedIn has been thinking about expanding its video service offering for some time now. With the infrastructure in place, perhaps we are looking at a potential challenger to Zoom and one that will boost the social media platform at the same time.

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