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LinkedIn is stealing this key feature from Instagram

LinkedIn Stories
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Ink Drop)

LinkedIn, the social media platform for professionals, is following in the footsteps of Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook with a new Stories section.

Billed as “a way to see and share everyday work moments”, the LinkedIn Stories feature allows users to attach multimedia content to their profile, with a maximum duration of 20 seconds.

As with similar features on consumer-focused social networks, the images and videos remain visible for a period of 24 hours, after which they vanish into the ether.

LinkedIn users will be able to customize their stories with text and stickers, and engage their following in conversation via “Question of the Day” prompts.

After a successful beta period, the feature launched in full for US and Canada-based members last month - and is now widely available to LinkedIn’s 27 million UK users too.

LinkedIn Stories

First popularized by Snapchat, stories have proven extremely popular on all manner of social media platforms, giving users a dedicated space to share short, sharp updates that might not be considered worthy of a full post.

In a professional context, according to LinkedIn, members could utilize the functionality to respond to the latest headlines and current events, share company announcements in real-time or host casual Q&As.

The new Stories feature is also designed to give members yet another avenue through which to communicate with colleagues and associates during the pandemic, with face-to-face communication no longer a viable option.

“Staying connected, personally and professionally, has never been so important. During lockdown our members have been using Linkedin to keep in touch with colleagues and contacts - whether for seeking advice, new opportunities or just to catch up,” explained LinkedIn executive Katie Carroll.

“We see Stories as a natural continuation of this more personal connection with colleagues, and we have already seen hundreds of thousands of conversations sparked via Stories.”

It appears, however, that the platform has some reservations about how its members might use the new functionality, which has until now been synonymous with personal social media.

The company has issued the following advice, in a bid to head off issues that might arise as a result of the blurring of personal and professional networks:

Dos:

  • Post content grounded in relevant, professional context
  • Create content around constructive, educational opportunities
  • Include authentic representations of everyday professional moments
  • Post conversation starters for the latest professional news and topics

Don'ts

  • Be overly personal or post private moments
  • Post inappropriate content that may jeopardize career prospects
  • Post about opportunities to spam personal products or services