Since the launch of video, views of long-form news articles on LinkedIn appear to be down as much as 80%. Co-written for LinkedIn by Manu Goswami & Dr. Josh Luke
The first video ever played by MTV in August 1981 was Video Killed the Radio Starby the Buggles.
Is history repeating itself 36 years later on LinkedIn? Is the launch of LinkedIn video killing the LinkedIn long form story?
No one loves this platform more than the two of us. We are both honored to be featured in the Masters of LinkedIn Summit in Los Angeles on May 10, 2018. But as writers, we are very concerned about user trends in recent months since LinkedIn made a temporary platform change to encourage video.
Quick disclaimer: We love LinkedIn video and are both LinkedIn video enthusiasts! But is the content of the majority of the LinkedIn video’s popping-up meaningful business content? Or have we swayed closer to a true “social” media platform instead of the true meaningful business content platform that LinkedIn strives to be?
“I welcomed the opportunity to produce video. But my last few stories prior to the platform change were averaging 10,000 views. My last few stories since the platform change are averaging less than 1,000.” – Dr. Josh Luke
Something tells us that the folks at LinkedIn and all their data are way ahead of us on this one and that they likely have some platform tweaks in store for us in the near future. But leave it to the two of us LinkedIn lovers, one GenXer and one millennial, to state the obvious. We both interact with LinkedIn executives regularly and we each have been to regional offices and met some of the most brilliant people we’ve ever met who work for LinkedIn. That’s why we suspect they are way ahead of us on this!
We are both influencers who love to write. Sure, we can do video too. But in a sense, impactful writing is a talent that requires years of skill to master. Video on the other hand, while many are skilled, simply requires the click of a button, even for those who have not mastered the craft…And maybe the courage to be seen on camera as well! As a result, video content can be suspect. Herein lies the problem.
“I’m pumped to be speaking at the Masters of LinkedIn Summit and debating video vs. short form text posts, but even that is a separate subject. LinkedIn was becoming the true first source of relevant, first person business news and I fear that video might put that in jeopardy.” – Manu Goswami
For those unfamiliar, LinkedIn previously had “Pulse” channels for different industries: human resources, sales, leadership, etc. Midyear 2017 LinkedIn removed the Pulse’s and added a “What People Are Talking About Now” feature on the right of the home screen and on the home screen of your app (on most phone’s anyway!). LinkedIn also sends you a #DailyRundown email each morning in your Notification section of hashtags that are trending.
“When I started doing video on LI, I purposefully named my daily video the Daily Video Minute & Hashtag of the Day to emphasize brevity, consistency and a trending topic to stay consistent to the platform goals.” – Dr. Josh Luke
On the surface this shift to trending news feature appeared to be a smart tactic to encourage users to return to the site multiple times daily… the two of us certainly do! The unintended consequence however was the death of the long form news story. Along with it, at least for the time being, the death of the true LinkedIn Super Hero who not only could write, but had the business acumen to understand what qualified as relevant business content!
Lets take a look at a true LinkedIn Super Hero. Jim Rossi became a Top Voice in 2016 and just passed 250,000 Followers as a result of being a skilled writer, with 28 articles to date on LinkedIn dating back to January 2016. 250,000 Followers in less than 2 years…that’s a great writer!
“I teach at USC & asked my grad students their top news sources. None of them named a newspaper & almost all named an app on their phone. I was encouraged when two of them said ‘LinkedIn, I think your stories are more credible than the New York Times.’” – Dr. Josh Luke
According to the grad students at USC, LinkedIn and Twitter were winning this battle to become the true news sources for the millennial generation. Newspapers are truly dead! But that was early 2017. Then the LinkedIn platform changed.
We are both very hopeful that video maintains a strong presence on LinkedIn. More importantly, it is imperative that those making videos understand that LinkedIn users are seeking meaningful business content. Videos that have no business relevance and hashtag campaigns that do not provide insight to improve business acumen have started to pop up. We believe this could turn-off a lot of frequent users.
We have seen a lot of hashtag campaigns that brought valuable business input from across the globe, including the first hashtag campaign ever #LetsGetHonest and the highly successful #InItTogether that was launched by LinkedIn itself January 8, 2018. We are not offering an answer to this dilemma but pointing out an observation.
Julie Kliger for example is a three time LinkedIn Top Voice in Healthcare. Since video was launched and the Pulse channels were eliminated her story views and resulting interaction (like’s, reply’s and shares), like everyone else’s appear to be down more than 80%. Her story quality has not changed, just the platform.
A similar topic will be debated at the upcoming Masters of LinkedIn Summit in Los Angeles by some of LinkedIn’s most popluar personalities. Amy Blaschka will moderate a debate style panel pitting Manu Goswami and Allen Gannett arguing for video while Aaron Orendorff and Josh Fechter will argue on behalf of the short form “poetic” style writing posts that Fechter is credited for pioneering.
“Josh Fechter and Aaron Orendorf don’t know what’s about to hit them haha. But no, as a fan of both video and text based posts, I am very much looking forward to discussing how both these mediums will affect the future of LinkedIn and where its headed.” – Manu Goswami
We by no means believe we are in position to advise LinkedIn and they have the data, but the data we have access to says the long-form story is dead and LinkedIn is no longer, at least for the time being, the primary platform to share your views in writing. That’s tragic. As we stated earlier in this article, we’re guessing that LinkedIn brass are equally concerned about this topic and are already planning a platform tweak to address it.
As for the two of us, we will press forward creating both video and long form story content, that’s just how we both roll. We love LinkedIn and we are #InItTogether! So let’s pose the question to you the reader now, do you agree that video is killing the long-form story and that video content is often not valuable business content?
Of course, less than 1,000 of you are ever likely to see this story anyway…
Swish Goswami is a 20 year old TEDx speaker (signed with the National Speakers Bureau and The AAT Project), venture capitalist (at JB Fitzgerald Venture Capital founded by Brooklyn Nets PF Trevor Booker), LinkedIn Youth Editor (over 55K followers) UN Youth Ambassador and serial entrepreneur. Swish is the co-founder of Dunk, a media network of over 10M followers hyper-focused on basketball and the founder of SuperFan, a tool to help influencers and celebrities discover, connect with and reward their top fans. Swish has notably won Plan Canada’s Top 20 under 20, the United Nation’s Outstanding Youth Leadership award and Startup Canada’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Dr. Josh Luke (a proud GenXer) is America’s Healthcare Affordability Authority, a former hospital CEO and faculty for the University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy. He is a keynote speaker on healthcare affordability, Blockchain in healthcare and healthcare reform. He is an Amazon Best Selling Author and serves on Forbes Coaches Council. He hosts the Health-Wealth Podcast & Radio Show at Health-Wealth.com, on iTunes and YouTube (Dr. Josh Luke). Find him as Dr. Josh Luke on LinkedIn as well. For speaking gigs visit www.DrJoshLuke.com or at www.Health-Wealth.com.
The Masters of LinkedIn Summit is a first of its kind event being hosted in Los Angeles on May 10, 2018 featuring top LinkedIn personalities from all across the globe. The event is being hosted by the Social Media Masters Series non-profit organization and additional Masters of LinkedIn events are being planned for Toronto, San Francisco, New York and Miami. For more information on registering for or sponsoring the Masters of LinkedIn event, please visit http://www.socialmediamastersseries.com/.