When LinkedIn first launched the Stories format, and later expanded its tool for creators earlier this year, one noticeable detail was that the Microsoft-owned network for professionals did not include any form of content in the program. – Worth noting, given that creators earn a living on other platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok and those apps lured creators, their content, and their audience by paying to some degree.
“As we continue to hear feedback from our members as we consider future opportunities, we will also continue to develop how we create more value for our creators,” LinkedIn told me at the time of its holding on the payout. Explained the pattern. But that strategy may have backfired for the company — or at least may have played a role in what’s coming forward: Last month, LinkedIn announced it would be scrapping its stories format and working on other short-forms. To go back to the drawing board of stories. Video content for the platform.
Now comes the latest iteration in that effort. To bring more creators to the platform, the company today announced that it will launch a new $25 million creator fund, initially centered around a new creator accelerator program.
It’s also coming on the heels of LinkedIn continuing to work on one of its other new-content experiments: a clubhouse-style live conversation platform. As we mentioned earlier, LinkedIn started working on this back in March of this year. Now, we’re hearing that the feature will appear as part of a broader event strategy for the company.
In particular, in a blog post In announcing the Creator Fund, LinkedIn also listed a number of upcoming Creator Events. Will a clubhouse-style feature pop up there? Look at this place. Or maybe… listen.
In any case, LinkedIn is announcing today that the Creator Accelerator can help feed into that broad pool of people that LinkedIn is hoping to cultivate as more dynamic and vibrant voices on its platform so that more people talk and spend time on LinkedIn.
Andrei Santalo, global head of community at LinkedIn, noted in a blog post that the accelerator/incubator will focus on creators throughout and multiple ways to engage on LinkedIn.
“Creating content on LinkedIn is about creating opportunities for yourself and others,” he writes. “How can your words, videos and conversations make 774+ million professionals better at their jobs or help them see the world in new ways?”
The incubator will run for 10 weeks and will take 100 creators to train them on content creation for LinkedIn in the US. This will give them a chance to network with like-minded individuals (naturally… it’s LinkedIn), as well as a $15,000 grant to do their work. Last date to apply (whatever you do Here) is October 12.
The idea of starting a fund to incentivize creators to create videos for a particular platform certainly isn’t new — and that’s one reason it was overdue for LinkedIn to think about its own approach.
Major social media platforms like TikTok, SnapchatInstagram, Facebook, and YouTube have all announced hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for creators to bring more original content to their platforms.
You could argue that for mass-market social media sites, paying creators is important because the competition between them for consumers’ attention is so fierce.
But on the other hand, those platforms have appeal for creators because of the size of the potential audience. At 774 million users, LinkedIn isn’t exactly small, but the kind of content that’s out there is much different, and perhaps drier—it’s focused on professional development, work, and the “serious” topics it might need. The biggest financial incentive of all is for creators to bite.
The bread and butter of LinkedIn so far has been around professional development: People use it to look for work, to find better jobs, to hire people, and to connect with the people they love in their professional lives. can help you move forward.
But it’s done in very prescribed formats that don’t leave much room for the search for “authenticity” – not in the modern sense of “authentic self”, nor in the old school sense of letting your guard down and without Of conceit (Even relatively new initiatives such as its education play directly into this larger framework.)
Authenticity is becoming an increasing priority for people – and perhaps even more so as we begin to blur the lines between work and home because of COVID-19 and the changes that have been forced upon us – I can’t help could, but wonder whether LinkedIn will use this opportunity to rethink, or at least expand, the concept of what it means to spend time on its platform.