If you're a LinkedIn user then you've probably been waiting for LinkedIn to launch live video. Maybe you're excited like me, or maybe you're not so sure about live video on LinkedIn, either way you need to know what's happening. Social media platforms will always change over time, as a business owner you need to be aware of the changes and adapt if you want to stay relevant.
In this post, I'll give you a run down of what I've seen so far and who I've seen beta testing live video on LinkedIn. Be sure to follow me on LinkedIn HERE as I will continue to update the LinkedIn Live Streamers list at the end of this post and the latest news for LinkedIn Live for you.
Have you seen a LinkedIn Live Stream yet? I've been lucky enough to see 6 people and 1 company using LinkedIn Live and 3 of them while live! This was no small feat mind you, LinkedIn has not made it easy to find live streams on LinkedIn. There are several hashtags, like #LinkedInLive & #LiveVideo, at this point however, the live videos don't seem to come up anywhere near the top results. My guess is that LinkedIn is not ready to fully promote it's live video feature while it's in beta testing, that and the #hashtag feature needs some work ;p
The first LinkedIn Live that I was able to see and participate in live was with Cathy Hackl, a true rock star in augmented reality & virtual reality, Top LinkedIn Voice, and highly sought after technology speaker. Cathy is quickly becoming one of my favorite people on LinkedIn. For her second live stream on LinkedIn Cathy played a game called AI Against Humanity, you can watch it HERE. This was a super fun, engaging, and education live stream and it's my opinion that these types of live streams will do exceedingly well on LinkedIn, just as Cathy's did.
I was watching and participating on mobile (I'll share my desktop experience in a minute) and the overall functionality for a viewer on mobile, was in my opinion top notch! First, commenting was simple and straight forward, replying to other users comments was the smoothest interface I've seen on a live stream while it was live, and the share feature was sadly not working. As you can see in my blurry screen shot below ;P there's a place to comment, there's a share arrow, and a thumbs up for liking.
If you tap on another commenters comment, it will give you an option to "reply" which tags them in your comment...very smooth. I think this functionality speaks to LinkedIn's culture of networking. Most comment threads on other live stream and social media platforms are one way, commenter to poster and then poster replying to commenter. LinkedIn is one of the few places where you actually see people consistently commenting and replying to each other and not just the poster...It's one of my favorite things about LinkedIn!
The share function wasn't working on mobile. When clicked, it would open a window like it was generating a post to share. I could write in text above the post, just as I usually can, but the post button was hidden in the header and not clickable. As a matter of fact, the X to discard the post was also in the header and not clickable. To get back to The live stream, I had to close the LinkedIn app and then go back in to access the live stream again, see the screen shot below.
When someone you're connected to goes live on LinkedIn a notification will pop up, but.... I didn't get a notification for someone I was not connected to but following. Also very interesting is the lack of other notifications with live video. What do I mean? Well, remember how I said replying to other commenters on LinkedIn Live automatically tagged them in your comment? No notifications for that, or anything else other than getting the notification that a connection is going live. Even replay comments and replies don't have a notification, so basically, what happens on LinkedIn Live stays on LinkedIn Live. ;) What I don't know is if this is the same for the streamers themselves, do they get the notification? Maybe one of them will read this and let us know ;)
The non-notifications may just be part of the beta testing, could be how the interface works (more on that in a minute) or, it could be an intentional part of how Live Video will work on LinkedIn long term. There were hundreds of viewers, comments, and likes on the live streams I've seen...can you image all those notifications on LinkedIn? I've seen some concerned posts and comments about LinkedIn turning into Facebook, I understand why, but I don't think there's a need to worry.
Many social media platforms have similar functions like a feed, comments, likes, replies, messaging, and yes, live video, yet each platform is used differently. It's used differently because the core users are attracted to the platform for it's unique purpose. LinkedIn Live won't turn into Facebook because that's not what LinkedIn's core users want. More importantly, it's not what LinkedIn wants. Which is why I'm thinking the notifications are non-existent on LinkedIn Live, because the purpose of LinkedIn Live is the live interaction, not the replay. Yes, the point of any "live" video is live interaction, but that's not how it's used across social media. Live replay is very popular on Facebook and you talk to replay viewer #Replay :) Maybe LinkedIn wants to encourage live viewership and interaction...no notifications could be part of that...maybe, we'll just have to see.
The notification issue could also be related to the LinkedIn Live interface. According to Chris Strub, a live streaming nonprofit specialist, and all around fabulous guy, you can't go live directly into LinkedIn. In other words, you NEED a 3rd party streaming tool like Switcher, which is what Chris uses. How does Chris know this? Yup! Chris is one of the LinkedIn Live beta testers here in the US.
I was able to catch Chris's first LinkedIn Live (you can see it here) while on desktop! On desktop I was able to share the live while it was live by clicking the three dots as shown below and then clicking copy link and then creating a post on LinkedIn. I didn't see a specific share button on desktop, but I'll keep my eyes on it.
As any long time LinkedIn user knows, LinkedIn LOVES a slow roll...out. It's impossible to say exactly when live video will come out of beta. What I can tell you is that the initial test was by invitation only and as stated below, there will be an application process to get access after the test.
What will this application process look like, will there be requirements, how long will the approval process take, and the answers to so many other questions are only known by LinkedIn at this point.
As I said above, LinkedIn Live access was by INVITATION ONLY and only LinkedIn knows exactly why it selected it's beta testers. Of the 6 people and 1 company I'm aware of (listed below), I can tell you that they are each a fabulous human being, extremely talented, and real. If you're thinking of using LinkedIn Live when it rolls out to the rest of us...follow and watch people below to see the variety of styles that they are successfully using to stream live on LinkedIn for inspiration.
There you have it, that's who I know and what I know about LinkedIn Live right now. Did I miss something, a feature or function of LinkedIn Live that you've seen? Comment below and let me know.
Don't forget to follow me HERE and stay up to date on all things LinkedIn Live as I obsessively track every detail! ;P lol
I also created a group on LinkedIn where we'll have discussions and training's around LinkedIn Live Video, you can join us HERE
Do you know a LinkedIn Live beta tester that's included above? Tell us in the comments so we can give them some love too :)
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