LinkedIn has joined the long list of companies like Facebook and Twitter creating an audio chat space. The online platform confirmed yesterday that it is testing a social audio experience in its app which would allow creators on its network to connect with their community.
The audio chat race which started with the boom of Clubhouse has translated into an online platform race with more than 5 competitors veering for the market.
Spotify also recently entered into the live audio space with the acquisition of Locker Room, a live sport audio app
However, unlike clubhouse and its rivals, LinkedIn says its audio networking feature will be more professional and not just social as people will be connected using their professional identity.
“We’re doing some early tests to create a unique audio experience connected to your professional identity,” a spokesperson for LinkedIn, Suzi Owens said. “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.
The tools and setup of the feature are however still Clubhouse-like. There’s a stage showcasing the room’s speakers and a set of listeners below as shown in the conceptual UX mockup of its in-room experiences shared by LinkedIn
There are also tools that allow users to join and leave the room, react to comments and request to speak, according to screenshots by a reverse engineer, Alessandro Paluzzi.
The list of Clubhouse rivals now include Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Discord, Spotify and now LinkedIn
LinkedIn hasn’t released a timeline for the launch of its audio networking feature but says it will begin beta testing soon.
Examining the tools and setup already released here are some things to expect when the audio feature finally rolls out.
1) More professional conversations
Currently, the major form of conversation on LinkedIn is through chat, stories, video shares, and posts. With the launch of an audio chat space, LinkedIn users have a new way to talk and have professional conversations with their network in real-time.
The company even revealed that an audio-based feature is being created because its members and creatives have been asking for more ways to communicate.
This means that experts can now have intellectual conversation on LinkedIn instead of Twitter or Facebook where work can easily get mixed with personal and social life.
“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,” the company said.
2) Quick and prompt feedback for connections
The time lag between when a chat message is sent and when you receive a reply is an experience any frequent user of LinkedIn is conversant with. This makes getting feedback or getting opinions on issues take hours.
However, an audio chat feature means getting responses quickly and in real-time just like when you are on a call.
LinkedIn added that because the audio experience will be connected with users’ professional identities so users can feel comfortable speaking, commenting and otherwise engaging with the content.
3) Audio networking
Networking is one of the biggest benefits of LinkedIn. The opportunity to connect with professionals across the world either through mail or chat has helped many people get jobs or businesses.
The launch of an audio feature will create a whole new frontier for users to explore. People will be able to sell their pitch with speech and not just words and will also be privileged to attend the audio session they may have otherwise not been invited for.
4) A new way to promote your professional portfolio
As things stand, the ways you can promote your professional portfolio on LinkedIn is through advertisement, posts and personally reaching out through chats or mail.
However, with an audio feature, you can go the extra mile in organizing engaging and interesting events that would increase your popularity and get people joining your connection in droves.
Last year, LinkedIn recorded over 740 million global members and 4.8 billion connections.
5) A new way to organize events
In 2020, about 21 million people attended events on LinkedIn, and overall LinkedIn sessions increased by 30% year-over-year. However, while most of the events were posted on LinkedIn, none were hosted on the platform. The audio feature can change that.
When the feature launches people will be able to have conversations right on the app. This means more engagement for LinkedIn and also more attendees for organisers.
If the feature is anything like Twitter Space, anyone of an organizers community or network who comes on the app will be able to join the conversation in real time.
According to the company, audio networking makes for a natural extension of other areas like Groups and Events.
Like many companies, Linkedin has acknowledged new forms of online networking including audio experiences is instrumental to growth. And as a result of user interest in this space, has quickly moved to develop its own Clubhouse.
In addition, the company has also built a platform that serves the creator community, which gives access to tools like stories, LinkedIn Live video broadcasting and newsletters.
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