LinkedIn isn’t holding back its intention to join the growing list of Clubhouse’s competitors, confirming that it is also testing a social audio experience, ‘TOO.’
Recall that Spotify, this Tuesday, announced its acquisition of Betty Lab, a prelude to the bigger picture involving the creation of its own in-app live audio experience.
However, LinkedIn, unlike most companies that have also shown interest in the live audio feature so far, plans to offer a unique user experience.
According to the American business and employment-oriented online network, its audio networking feature will stand out because it will be connected with users’ professional identity, not just a social profile.
More so, this is not the company’s first attempt in terms of live broadcasting; it had previously rolled out tools like Stories, and LinkedIn Live Video broadcasting, among others.
Before its latest announcement, LinkedIn had previously rolled out a ‘Creator’s Mode’ which according to the company, lets users set their profile as one that can be followed for a real-time update.
The latest addition, once implemented, will join the company’s list of live broadcasting tools, giving the platform a foot ahead of the competition.
Furthermore, LinkedIn claimed that the need to create the new feature comes on the hill of users’ requests for more ways to communicate on its platform.
“We’re seeing nearly 50% growth in conversations on LinkedIn reflected in stories, video shares and posts on the platform,” Suzi Owens, a spokesperson for LinkedIn, said to Techcrunch.
“We’re doing some early tests to create a unique audio experience connected to your professional identity. And, we’re looking at how we can bring audio to other parts of LinkedIn such as events and groups, to give our members even more ways to connect to their community,” she added.
More creators are interested in live audio conversation
Clubhouse was not only famous for the nature of the app, but how it was able to attract millions of users in a very short time.
Clubhouse currently has 10 million users, according to a town hall meeting hosted by CEO, Paul Davidson.
In comparison, that’s a major boost from the 1500 and 2 million users the platform had in May 2020, and January 2021 respectively.
Considering the upsoaring interest of creators in the space, several social networks, including LinkedIn, cannot resist the urge to ignore the current progression.
In the same light, LinkedIn had moved quickly to take advantage of its current infrastructure to build what can properly be described as its own clubhouse-like feature.
The above image was leaked by a reverse engineer, Alessandro Paluzzi who screenshot what the features users’ interface would look like following his discovery on the LinkedIn Android app.
As seen in the leaked image, the user interface is sectioned into two – one consisting of the room’s speakers, and the other, listeners.
Also, users can interact with the different icons spread across the screen; a user can join and leave the room, request to speak, react to comments, and send an in-app message.
Going by LinkedIn’s explanation, the new audio experience would be tailored to fit users’ professional identities, allowing them to be comfortable while engaging content.
“Our priority is to build a trusted community where people feel safe and can be productive,” Owens further noted.
“Our members come to LinkedIn to have respectful and constructive conversations with real people and we’re focused on ensuring they have a safe environment to do just that,” she added.
The audio networking will aid LinkedIn’s natural extension into other areas
As much as LinkedIn will be building on a pre-existing infrastructure, the latest development will naturally serve multiple purposes, especially in offering extensive services.
LinkedIn also boasts of other areas of networking such as Groups and Events, both of which have continued to experience growth lately, specifically during the pandemic.
According to the company, at least 21 million people attended an event on LinkedIn in 2020, pushing the overall session up by 30% year-on-year.
Similarly, the company’s 740 million global members built a community; had conversations and shared knowledge, with 4.8 billion connections made during the same period.
Interestingly, majority of the boost was attributed to the pandemic, and while LinkedIn was not the only one who benefited significantly, it believes the new shift is here to stay.
As such, the platform can only experiment with newer forms of online networking such as the new audio experience to sustain its current numbers, as well as to further expand.
Considering that the live audio experience is still an ongoing development, we are not exactly clear about how soon it will be rolled out to the public.
However, the company claimed it will commence beta testing for the experience very soon.