LinkedIn shuts down Stories, doesn’t have a clue what users want

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Microsoft’s LinkedIn jumped into the creators’ space early last year when it added ‘Stories’ to its platform as a way to share video updates. Due to a lack of interest, the site will remove the feature by the end of the month.

LinkedIn senior director of product, Liz Li, said in a blog post that the company introduced Stories last year as a fun and casual way to share video updates. In that time, she says the company learned a lot and is taking those lessons to evolve the Stories format into a different video experience across LinkedIn that’s “richer and more conversational.”

Not something users wanted

Li said that LinkedIn wants to work on a new experience after shuttering the existing one. She said that feedback from users was that disappearing videos was not something anyone asked for and that they prefer videos to remain visible on a profile.

As it turns out, LinkedIn’s assumption that people would not want informal videos attached to their professional profiles is what led them to make the videos disappear. What people wanted, was to create lasting videos.

What LinkedIn users want according to LinkedIn

As Li tells it, users wanted to create lasting videos that tell their professional stories in a more personal way, showcasing both expertise and personality.

Further feedback said that users wanted creative tools to make the videos more engaging. With Stories, she says, members could use stickers and ‘the question of the day’ prompts to make videos more creative and engaging, but that too needs work. Twitter shuttered a similar Stories-like product called Fleets in July that was intended to prompt new users to contribute but didn’t do much if anything.

LinkedIn seems to be in the dark what users want

In the messaging around the shutdown of stories, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to have a clue what users really want. They now understand users want their videos to stay on LinkedIn. And people didn’t like stickers. LinkedIn seems to be looking a lot at other social networks that are focused on the personal life of users. LinkedIn users tend to share their professional opinions, news and services. Maybe LinkedIn should focus more on those needs. Make it easier for users to share their professional opinions and creative material. For example, by improving company pages or the way content can be embedded on LinkedIn. They talk a lot about video, but LinkedIn doesn’t support embedding podcasts for example.