LinkedIn is getting into live video.
The Microsoft-owned business social network is testing a new service called LinkedIn Live, as first reported by TechCrunch and confirmed by the company. The pilot service aims to provide an outlet for both interactive video, where users can talk with subject matter experts and people in their field, and timely events, such as news conferences or product announcements.
Live video is far from a new concept. It’s a staple of several social media platforms already, most notably Facebook, but it provides a new way for LinkedIn’s roughly 600 million members to communicate.
LinkedIn said that live video has been the most requested service since the company introduced native video approximately 18 months ago. While LinkedIn didn’t give specific metrics about video on its platform, the company did say video is its fastest growing content type, and the most likely to start up conversations. LinkedIn video ads get 30 percent more comments per impression than non-video ads in the feed, the company said, and members spend about triple the amount of time on video ads versus static ads.
LinkedIn Live relies on Microsoft’s Azure Media Services to power its streaming video. With one of the world’s leading cloud computing powerhouses as its parent company, LinkedIn can push the envelope further on new services that require a lot of computing power.
As of now, LinkedIn Live is only available to select broadcasters across a range of professional communities. LinkedIn said it is working with several third party broadcast tools in early testing to help users go live, including Telestream Wirecast, Switcher Studio, Wowza, Socialive, and Brandlive.
Examples of interactive events given by LinkedIn include personal finance advisors giving advice to recent grads and teachers talking through lesson planning in virtual meetups. Timely events cited by LinkedIn include reporters interviewing people in the field, companies going public and major conferences.