We’ve been talking a lot about the most exciting trends across all of social and how they’ll affect your business and your brand this year and far into the future.  

One of the most exciting things on the horizon is the growth of audio platforms like Clubhouse. Clubhouse changed the landscape of how people participate and consume audio and it’s spawned a brand new subset of audio apps and platforms… and now LinkedIn is getting in on the game.  

Jake Poses, LinkedIn lead for video, creators, and events said that the professional networking platform was doing “early tests to create a unique audio experience connected to your professional identity,”. 

The career-focused network has seen a 231% YoY increase in virtual event attendees, and especially during the continuing pandemic, these numbers are likely to continue to rise.  

In June 2021, LinkedIn revealed that it was investing in the increasingly popular events platform Hopin, rumored to be around 50 million. Two months later, in August, it bought a startup called Jumprope, designed for creators that make how-to videos – and founded by Jake Poses. 

These investments were shrewd and have kept LinkedIn moving at the same pace as other behemoths of the tech world, keen to make their mark with live audio and video features. 

And it all makes really good sense. LinkedIn is, after all, the professional social network, and where business leaders are increasingly looking to establish professional connections. And now, as it looks to maximize its potential on the emerging audio front, LinkedIn is adding some new elements to its live events tools, which will provide more capacity for connection and interaction within the LinkedIn environment. 

First off LinkedIn’s launching an initial test of its own, a Clubhouse-like audio events platform, which will enable users to tune into live discussions in the app, and participate by raising their virtual hand to join as a speaker, or 1 of 4 emojis in response to the chat. 

This is a huge step for LinkedIn and an even bigger opportunity for you. Just as exciting, I’ve been lucky enough to be selected as one of 200 beta testers for this new audio tool, and we already starting using it with our first room last week.

LinkedIn has been developing its live audio tools since March last year, at the peak of the Clubhouse hype cycle, and while it has taken some time for the platform to develop its own option, it’s going to have a huge impact on the capacity for professional connection within LinkedIn’s industry aligned mission.  

LinkedIn also notes that it has solid capacity to highlight the most relevant audio sessions to each member: 

“We have the professional context to recommend the most relevant events that can help you learn, network and be successful, and we’re investing more in surfacing these events to you. Whether an event by a creator or page you follow, or a topic you’re passionate about, we will surface the events that will help you reach your career goals.” 

Discovery remains the key challenge for social audio tools.  

Given the professional focus of LinkedIn, which helps to ensure that spam and off-topic discussions are somewhat limited, it could be well-positioned to highlight more relevant sessions to each user. 

 LinkedIn’s also using the format of its audio rooms as a template of sorts for its other live meeting features, including video events.  

That will expand the platform’s capacity to host virtual discussions, and bring industry leaders together in new formats, which could, again, be hugely valuable within a LinkedIn context, and help to expand the usage of the platform for live events. 

Of course, ideally, we’ll all be able to go back to IRL events sooner rather than later. But with the Omicron variant of COVID now pushing case numbers higher once again, it looks like we will indeed be living with the virus for some time yet. 

And even when live events are able to go ahead, these new connection options on LinkedIn will serve a valuable purpose, particularly as more businesses move to hybrid working processes, with more people spending more time in different locations, as opposed to being tied to a physical office space. each participant is based. 

“We’ll expand the ability to host Audio Events to more creators in the coming months, and we’ll start rolling out our Video Events format later this spring.”

This is one new tool I’m really excited to start using and sharing with you and the possibilities it will unlock are going to be wide reaching and game changing. I’ll keep you posted on exactly how it progresses so you can be on top of this emerging new space!  

That’s it for this week’s Dopamine Dose! One last thing, we’re having our very first Community Call of the year in just one hour!

We’re going to discuss the new LinkedIn audio in depth and talk about all the other exciting new predictions and tools ahead for 2022! Click here and get registered for free and I’ll see you there.  

And then Join Rachel B Lee and I, Thursday in our next LinkedIn Audio room ????