In the past few weeks, LinkedIn Stories has surfaced as a surprisingly divisive topic. Many individuals state “this isn’t something we asked for” or “LinkedIn has gone business casual”. But, is the functionality itself really the problem? Maybe we just don’t trust ourselves. Maybe we believe LinkedIn users will further pollute LinkedIn with personal content and irrelevant dribble.
Is the functionality itself really the problem? Maybe we just don’t trust ourselves.
When you look at social media platforms as a whole, they have all evolved. The original use for most platforms has changed. Lest we forget, Facebook used to require a .edu email address to sign up. Twitter was text only. Instagram didn’t have stories—but now 500 million users post stories every single day. Things change.
LinkedIn has changed too. LinkedIn began as a professional network, primarily for job seekers. As more users joined, it became a place to share relevant industry content, tips and best practices. Then advertising started and businesses began promoting their products and services to other businesses and B2B buyers. And then the world changed.
As the world strives for this thing called “work-life balance”, iPhones, increased connectivity and social media like LinkedIn blurred the lines between the workplace and home. How many people sit at home on the couch and scroll through their LinkedIn feed? A lot. People don’t care as much today about receiving a work-related advertisement or email on what, in the past, was deemed a personal channel. Coworkers and clients regularly text today. Even 5 years ago texting with a client about a project would have seemed like an invasion of personal space for many people.
How many people sit at home on the couch and scroll through their LinkedIn feed? A lot.
As the line between work and home has blurred, the content on LinkedIn has changed. But not because LinkedIn changed, because users started sharing more personal content. The trend has been for businesses to be more personal and authentic. For individuals to build personal brands. And LinkedIn has grown into a forum for those conversations.
It’s a natural progression for LinkedIn to provide a new outlet for those conversations through LinkedIn Stories. Whether the feature is good or evil, well, that’s up to us.