I’m not sure many people will endorse this move from LinkedIn. According to TechCrunch, the Microsoft-owned professional social network (slash blogging service for the world’s least self-aware people) is introducing autoplaying video advertisements.
Previously, if an advertiser wanted to use video on LinkedIn, they’d have to link to another service like YouTube or Vimeo. With this change, videos will appear as native, standalone posts in the LinkedIn newsfeed, alongside the usual fare of blog posts, status updates, and job adverts. Mercifully, adverts in this new video format begin muted.
Other social networks — most notably Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — have had autoplaying video adverts for ages now. Although LinkedIn is playing catch-up here, it’s taken care to ensure that this format is tweaked for its unabashedly corporate audience.
These video spots can be used to foster brand awareness, but as pointed out by TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha, they can also be used to funnel users to the advertiser’s website, or collect leads. They can also include LinkedIn’s analytics tools, which offer ad targeting and conversion tracking capabilities.
LinkedIn has been testing these adverts with a handful — well, 700 — companies since October, and expects to roll them out to everyone else in the coming weeks.