Friday Download: LinkedIn bolsters up its functionalities, Medium introduces a new way to react to blogs & NBC’s “Stay Tuned” soars on Snap…

Our lead story this week shouldn’t really be as big a story as it is, but as a team well-invested in social media, it is delightful to announce that LinkedIn has arrived (un)fashionably late at the video party.

It’s been a long time coming, but LinkedIn are finally allowing video to be uploaded directly to the platform, a sleeker upgrade to the autoplay-YouTube-clips workaround of the last few months. The move is more significant, however, when considered in the wider context of the platform’s recent upgrades. With a new interface, slicker messaging functionality and now the addition of native video, the implication is that Microsoft wants LinkedIn to operate alongside the big hitters in the social space.

The video used to explain the update signposts where LinkedIn believes the functionality will lead – captions on the various sections read “sharing projects, going behind the scenes, teaching us something, taking us somewhere”. While uploading to YouTube and then linking from LinkedIn is not a particular barrier to participation for organisations (and for the moment they’ll still have to upload video the old-fashioned way), the opportunity now to source genuine, personal video content from employees and professional advocates is an exciting development for anyone looking to tell the story of what it’s like to work inside an organisation.

A CLAP TRAP?

Web pages live and die by visits and clicks, and as a result the number of article titles starting “you’ll never guess what…” or “17 reasons why … your jaw will drop at 12” have gone through the roof. As Medium product engineer Katie Zhu writes, “a pageview is a pageview, whether it’s a 3-second bounce (clickbait) or a 5-minute, informative story you read to the end”. But how might one reflect this?

That’s what our friends at blogging platform Medium have tried to answer, and this week they unveiled a possible solution, one which raises interesting questions about how the internet values writing, journalism, and ultimately information. Rolling out soon, if you like an article you give it a clap or two. If you love it, give it more, and so on.

While this is clearly a relatively gameable model, by removing the binary nature to recommendations Medium hopes to develop a more nuanced metric. It also chimes in with a recent post from our colleagues in The Americas Download around micro-influencers. Narrow-focus, highly-respected authors on social platforms are increasingly desirable, and a new way of measuring written-word value may bolster the micro-influencer trend

NUMBERS MAKE EVAN A HAPPY SNAPPER

We’ve been talking about Snapchat a lot recently, and not just because we’re trying to hold on desperately to our fast-diminishing youth (although that does sound good, doesn’t it). The doyen of the NYSE has had a rollercoaster few months, much of which we have tracked on this very email series, but things are starting to look up, particularly with various numbers that came out this week.

One of these numbers is 29m – this is the number of unique viewers the NBC “Stay Tuned” gained in its first month. Contrary to popular opinion, millennials and Gen-Zers are keen to keep in touch with the news (albeit in 2-3 minute chunks delivered through a phone), with 60% of NBC’s Snapchat viewership in the 16-25 category. So successful has this been, that CNN is keen to follow suit, which will be music to Snap’s ears as they search for ways of staving off copycat platforms *cough Facebook cough Instagram cough*by developing original content.

Investors are clearly happy with these numbers, because they came up with one of their own: +22.82%. That’s the growth in share price in the last fortnight, including five straight days of gains to Monday.

ALSO THIS WEEK

  • Now You Can View Tweets By Topic, Without Having To Make A List [Buzzfeed]
  • Facebook to Make ‘Safety Check’ a Permanent Feature on its Mobile App [Facebook]
  • Hashtags are 10 years old [BBC]
  • Facebook to trial on-platform news subscriptions [Mashable]

AND FINALLY

What slang is as old as you are?

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