LinkedIn announced Tuesday that it is discontinuing its ephemeral Stories product. According to Liz Li, senior director of product, the company intends to “remove the existing Stories experience by the end of September.” Internal testing of the Snapchat-style video Stories started in February 2020.
LinkedIn discovered that users didn’t want disappearing video, which was one of the reasons for the suspension. “When we developed Stories, we anticipated that users wouldn’t want informal videos connected to their profile, and that ephemerality would lower the barriers that people feel about posting,” Li explained. “It turns out that you want to make long-lasting videos that convey your professional biography in a more personal way and highlight both your personality and expertise.”
LinkedIn’s move follows Twitter’s shutdown of Fleets, its Stories-like product, in July. Like LinkedIn, Twitter observed that users didn’t respond to ephemeral video in the way it had wanted. “We hoped Fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation on Twitter,” Ilya Brown, Twitter’s vice president of product, said on Twitter’s blog. “But, in the time since we introduced Fleets to everyone, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped.”
The two shutdowns might be part of some larger shift away from ephemeral video products by social media giants. However, it does not appear that Snapchat or Instagram would abandon their Stories offerings very soon.
Now it’s simply a matter of waiting to see which social media companies turn away from their Clubhouse clones. If you’re wondering if LinkedIn is working on one, the answer is yes.