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 whose natively uploaded videos will play automatically when they appear in people’s feeds.
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 — at least for some users — 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 at least five minutes long, according to a best practices guide shared by a LinkedIn spokesperson. I’m waiting to hear back on whether that’s the maximum 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, though I’m waiting to hear what LinkedIn counts as a view.
Now for the twist. LinkedIn will give people information about their viewers like the companies where they work and their job titles. 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. 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. It’s also unclear when LinkedIn will extend the feature to more users, including brands.