LinkedIn may be the last major social network to add a way for people to share videos natively, but it will share new information about the people who view those videos.
LinkedIn will finally let people natively upload videos to the business-centric social network through its mobile app. On Thursday, LinkedIn started testing the feature with a small number of users in the U.S. whose natively uploaded videos will play automatically with the sound off when they appear in people’s feeds. People can disable videos from playing automatically in their account settings. The company plans to roll out the video-sharing feature to all users worldwide “in the coming months,” according to a LinkedIn spokesperson.
This isn’t the first time LinkedIn has let people post videos to the service. Last year, the company rolled out a separate app for its most influential users to post short videos.
In bringing the video-sharing option to its main app, LinkedIn will add a video camera icon next to the normal camera icon in the app’s status update box. People can click the new icon to record a video using LinkedIn’s in-app camera or upload clips saved to their phone’s camera roll.
LinkedIn’s video-sharing option appears to be pretty standard. But like most things with LinkedIn, it has a unique business twist.
Videos can run up to 10 minutes long, according to the LinkedIn spokesperson. A best practices guide shared by the spokesperson recommends that videos range between 30 seconds and five minutes in length. The guide also mentions that videos can be horizontal or vertical. And as on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, people will be able to see how many views, likes and shares a video of theirs received; like Facebook, LinkedIn counts a view once a video has played for at least three seconds.
Now for the twist. LinkedIn will give people information about their viewers like the companies where they work and their job titles. LinkedIn will not share a complete list of all viewers’ employer names and job titles, but a selection of the top ones, according to the spokesperson. That information might not mean much to a YouTube creator or someone filming their five-year-old on Facebook, but it’s a significant carrot for the business crowd LinkedIn caters to, particularly if it turns out that LinkedIn users like watching videos as much as users of seemingly every other social network.
It’s unclear what LinkedIn’s wider rollout of video uploading means for advertisers. LinkedIn does not currently serve video ads on its service, according to the spokesperson. But that wasn’t always the case and likely won’t remain the case for long, considering how other social networks like Facebook and Twitter have turned to video to bolster their ad businesses. In 2012, the company added an option for brands to buy video ads through its self-serve ad-buying tool, but those ads had to be YouTube videos, and people had to click to play them.