Friday Download: The Launch of LinkedIn Video, Google’s Personalised News Feed and the rise of dark social…

Something big happened last week – LinkedIn stepped into the 21st century. It started testing a new feature that will allow users to natively upload videos via the platform’s app, and whilst it may be the last of the major social networks to do so, it provides a huge boost for companies using the platform to reach their audiences.

As with the platform’s pre-existing in-feed videos, the native clips will play automatically with sound off, and like Facebook and Twitter, views will be counted after three seconds. The twist – and it’s a biggy – is that video creators will have access to information about their viewers, including information on where they work and their roles. This will present substantial opportunities for networking and recruiting and for identifying opinion leaders.

We expect companies to quickly use the new tool to distribute content and develop their audiences directly on the platform. And if it turns out LinkedIn users like watching video as much as users of every other platform, the native update could result in LinkedIn pulling a degree of influence away from rival platforms. Let the games begin!

GOOGLE FEED

This week Google revealed it’s adding a personalised news feed to its homepage to show users content they may be interested in before they search. The feed, which includes items drawn from your search history and topics you choose to follow, is designed to turn Google’s app into a destination for browsing as well as search.

The feed will be highly tailored, customisable and defined entirely by your interests and search history. This stands in contrast to Facebook’s News Feed, which relies mostly on your demographic, the people you know and what stories are popular. So if Google can keep you logged in whilst you’re browsing / searching, it can serve more tailored content – and tailored content equals higher levels of engagement. In turn, that means advertising real estate gets more valuable as the ROI improves. And whilst Google says there are no immediate plans to include advertising in Google Feed, it’s likely this is an opportunity the platform won’t miss.

From a communications perspective, this means SEO and key word optimisation becomes even more important when considering editorial and news content, as this will ensure that it appears in the Google Feed for the right audience groups.

IT’S GETTING DARK

At present, hitting a YouTube link in WhatsApp will result in the YouTube app taking over your screen and hiding your messages. It’s all terribly frustrating, but (thankfully) it’s about to change.

According to WABetaInfo, you’ll soon be able to view YouTube videos inside your WhatsApp chats, which will streamline the whole process. Of course, it also means people are likely to spend even more time on dark social – a space which is notoriously difficult for companies to gain access to and analyse. We comms folk can look at this as a defeat, or we can take the bull by the horns and use the tools available to build one-to-one relationships with our audiences. Let’s keep our glasses half full folks.

ALSO THIS WEEK

  • Be careful with social media — employers are watching – FT
  • The 30 second ad is dying – THE HUSTLE
  • Google Glass 2.0 has found a home in an unexpected place: Factories – WIRED
  •  Amazon Adds Shoppable Photos With Spark Social Media Feature – TECH CRUNCH
  • Costa Coffee caught on camera – EVENING STANDARD

AND FINALLY

Tropical storms Don and Hilary are swirling the seas, and it’s pure coincidence…

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