LinkedIn – the social network for the world of work that has nearly 600 million users worldwide – claims that video is the fastest growing format on its platform, with original written work , shared news and other content. Now, he's taking his next step in the medium seriously.

This week, the company is launching a live video, giving people and organizations the ability to stream video in real time to select groups or the entire LinkedIn world.

Launched first in the US beta, LinkedIn Live (as the product is called) will be by invitation only. In the coming weeks, LinkedIn will also release a contact form for other people wishing to participate in the action. It's unclear when and if LinkedIn will allow everyone to create LinkedIn Live Videos, but if you consider how it has developed its publishing features for the written work, it will also come later.

The initial live content that LinkedIn hopes to broadcast is the type of topic already covered in LinkedIn's news feed: it is intended to cover conferences, product announcements, Q & A and other topics. events led by influencers and mentors, as well as office hours technology company, appeals for results, graduation and awards presentations, etc.

And to emphasize how much LinkedIn wants to develop this – especially in its first phase – not as rude content generated by the user, but as a stream of video types that fit his broader ethic, he selected several thirds. Streaming streaming service party developers with which creators will work to create and publish more refined live videos on LinkedIn.

These include Wirecast, Switcher Studio, Wowza Media Systems, Socialive and Brandlive, "with others coming in the coming weeks," said LinkedIn.

There is also another technical partner for LinkedIn's live video: Microsoft, whose Azure Media Services, part of its Cloud division, provides encoding. Although Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016, Microsoft has mostly kept a certain distance in terms of product development between the two. This is therefore a notable exception. Skype, incidentally, is not part of this video effort.

Better late than never?

Compared to its competitors in the field of social networks, LinkedIn has been an explosion for video.

While competitors such as Twitter and Facebook have been developing in recent years to further mobilize its platforms through the use of animated images, LinkedIn, a Microsoft-owned company, has presented its first native video features only in the summer of 2017.

However, in the 17 months since the launch of the video features, LinkedIn has seen a significant increase in traffic and revenue from non-live video on its platform.

"Video is the fastest growing format on our platform at the moment, and the most likely to get people talking," said Pete Davies, director of product management at LinkedIn. . He and LinkedIn have refused to give specific numbers on the number of creators or viewers of videos, with the exception of noting that "millions" of LinkedIn members have used the feature.

Davies said the live video was a significant demand. I'll bet because it's such an important part of how video is used on other social platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, which puts the feature in mind.

"Live has been the most requested feature," he said. These other social platforms serve as a template: just like these other platforms, users can "like" the videos as they are released, with similar elements floating along the line. 39; screen. Viewers can ask questions or make suggestions in real-time comments. Hosts can also moderate these comments in real time to suppress bullying messages or other messages, Davies added.

There may be an additional reason, beyond the demands of users, for which LinkedIn develops the video: it proves to be a powerful driver of commitment and revenue growth for the company.

Until now, the only monetization that LinkedIn has introduced around the video is video advertising. While Microsoft does not disclose advertising revenues generated by LinkedIn but much less by video advertising, Microsoft indicated in its last quarterly earnings that LinkedIn revenues were up 29%, with a reference to the growth of its advertising business: "with record levels of 30% with LinkedIn sessions."

This, it seems, comes directly from his video products: LinkedIn tells me that video ads generate 30% more impressions per comment than non-video ads and LinkedIn members spend almost three times as much time to watch video ads as static ads. Sponsored content.

With LinkedIn looking to leverage unique content with LinkedIn Live, the company has a clear opportunity to explore other ways to monetize content beyond advertising. For example, the viewer might be able to charge viewers unique experiences, such as conferences, or incorporate some live events at the company's pay level to attract more premium subscribers. Broadcasters could potentially provide pay services to provide a platform for the delivery of certain content, such as video-based revenue reports.

LinkedIn would not comment on future monetization plans and, for now, do not even put video ads in LinkedIn Live videos. "This will follow us, but for now, we are focusing on awesome use cases," said Peter Roybal, video product management manager, in an interview. "It could even be a way to try new ideas."