The new feature is called “Student Voices,” and resembles Snapchat’s Stories. First spotted by consultant Carlos Gil, LinkedIn has since confirmed, via TechCrunch, that it is in fact working on such a thing. Just like every other site that’s borrowed from Snapchat, LinkedIn is aiming the feature squarely at a youthful demographic. In this case, the audience is college students and recent graduates.
You know how this works by now. Students will be able to see a bubble at the top of their page for their school, as well as other schools nearby. When you tap on it, you’ll see a short video of the student discussing, I presume, some aspect of their academic and professional development. As a spokesperson told TechCrunch:
It’s a great way for students to build out their profile and have this authentic content that shows who they are and what their academic and professional experiences have been. Having these videos live on their profile can help students grow their network, prepare for life after graduation, and help potential employers learn more about them.
I’ll say this for the feature: at least it’s got a very specific focus and purpose that has nothing to do with just ripping off Snapchat. This isn’t just a general bolting-on of a Stories feature in a social network where it’s clearly neither wanted nor needed (looking at you, Skype). Even if it is probably unnecessary to LinkedIn as a whole — not to mention the prospect of your potential employer looking at your Snapchat feed sounds just awful.
There’s also one part of the feature that’s different from Snapchat that almost breaks the whole premise in two: namely, that the videos are not ephemeral and won’t disappear forever after a few hours. Instead, they’ll remain on your school’s Student Voices for a short period of time, and will then appear on your own profile.
That would seem to defeat the purpose of Stories in the first place. They’re meant to be small snippets of your everyday life that you shoot off the cuff, not polished presentations of who you are as a person.