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Microsoft's LinkedIn Student Voices Feature Mirrors Stories

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Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) LinkedIn is testing a new feature called “Student Voices,” per a recent Tech Crunch report. The latest addition is intended to boost engagement, particularly among the college goers and the recent graduates.

The new feature is similar to “Stories” pioneered by Snap’s (SNAP - Free Report) Snapchat. Notably, Facebook (FB - Free Report) incorporated Stories in Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp to bolster engagement and has been successful in doing so, taking improved daily active users (DAUs) numbers into consideration.

However, LinkedIn is attempting to tweak the Stories feature by adding a bit of professional color to it. The students and graduates across colleges in the United States (global availability, going ahead) will be able to upload videos (not photographs) on LinkedIn sharing their academic and internship achievements, details on career fairs and other projects.

The test videos roughly spanning 30 to 45 seconds, featuring the student’s university logo are aimed at creating a visual appeal to LinkedIn platform. Per the reports, LinkedIn does not intend to add advertorials in between the video clips, as of now.

Unlike Stories, which disappear after 24 hours of posting, Student Voices will remain on a user’s profile under “Recent Activity” section and can be accessed as per the privacy settings.

This move is intended at capitalizing on the young generation’s approach towards professional networking. However, apprehensions remain regarding acceptance of the feature, given that a similar feature on Skype, which went by the name “Highlights”, was removed in September.

Other Initiatives to Boost Engagement

LinkedIn is also testing various features comprising location sharing and GIF comments. Other developments include testing of new buttons to include “Insightful,” “Hmm,” “Clap,” and “Support,” with a view to make the platform youth-centric.

The company is also restructuring user interface (“UI”) for pages. LinkedIn is realigning post composition UI as well, which per reports has a Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) like appeal.

Can LinkedIn Maintain the Dominant Position?

Facebook is looking to increase its presence in the e-learning and jobs marketplace with the newly introduced Learn with Facebook and other initiatives. Reportedly, the social media giant’s job tool solution launched in 2017 helped people find more than 1 million jobs.

Alphabet’s Google is another player in the domain. Google is continuously updating its search algorithms to help users collect, categorize and sort job postings from the web.

However, LinkedIn is leaving no stone unturned to boost user engagement with strategic deals.

The acquisition of helped the platform to host diverse set of courses. Further, LinkedIn recently announced its intention to acquire a startup, Glint, which offers Employee Engagement, Team Effectiveness, Employee Lifecycle and Manager Effectiveness solutions. Additionally, LinkedIn has more than 13,000 courses on its platform, per Techcrunch.

In first-quarter fiscal 2019, LinkedIn revenues surged 33% from the year-ago quarter (same at cc) to $1.46 billion. LinkedIn sessions were up 34%, reflecting acceleration in engagement.

Microsoft Corporation Price and Consensus


Microsoft Corporation Price and Consensus | Microsoft Corporation Quote

Robust performance of LinkedIn’s subscription products comprising membership, recruitment and education programs reflect the content quality.

The new features aimed at bolstering engagement are anticipated to aid LinkedIn gain popularity among the youth, consequently favoring Microsoft’s top-line, going ahead.

Microsoft carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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