The live, Clubhouse-like audio feature LinkedIn confirmed it was working on last year will debut later this month in beta as part of the company’s new events platform, according to a company blog post. Microsoft-owned LinkedIn said last March that it was doing “early tests to create a unique audio experience connected to your professional identity,” which was confirmed in the blog post by Jake Poses, LinkedIn lead for video, creators & events.
“This month, we’re taking a big step forward and building on the success of LinkedIn Live broadcasts by launching an entirely new interactive events experience that allows our members to more actively participate in the conversation,” Poses writes in the post. Users cam participate in live conversations, join speakers “on stage” as part of the discussion, and, will be able to make connections with others at an event to network after the event ends.
As first reported by TechCrunch, LinkedIn’s all-virtual events platform will eventually include moderated panel-style discussions, roundtables, and fireside chats, with the formats left up to the event hosts.
The virtual events will be built on LinkedIn’s in-house tools, and a video version is expected to be available later in the spring. TechCrunch reports that unlike other companies with audio chat features, such as Twitter’s Spaces, LinkedIn doesn’t plan to include ticketed events, where organizers could charge for access.
While Clubhouse drew in a big audience during the pandemic with its invite-only audio events (it’s now open to all, even without an invitation to join), it’s been overshadowed in recent months by competitors from established social platforms. Twitter began testing its Spaces to a limited audience in December of 2020 (and made it more widely available last year); Spotify introduced its live audio app, Greenroom, and Facebook added its Live Audio Rooms in June; and Discord launched its Stage Channels last March.
Update January 10th 12:53PM ET: adds details from and link to LinkedIn blog post