LinkedIn adding live video streaming with assist from Microsoft

After finally adding native video to its platform back in 2017, LinkedIn is following up with the beta launch of LinkedIn Live, a live video broadcast service.

According to TechCrunch, the beta launch is kicking off this week in the U.S. and it will be invite only. The social network for professionals is planning to conferences, product announcements, earnings calls, awards ceremonies and other work-related content on its live platform.

And to start, LinkedIn Live is partnering with developers like Wirecast, Switcher Studio, Wowza Media Systems, Socialive and Brandlive to give its live broadcasts a more produced look, unlike the rougher, more casual livestreams on social networks like Facebook.

Seeing as how Microsoft owns LinkedIn, it’s not especially surprising that the company would be lending a hand for the livestreaming launch. Microsoft’s Azure Media Services will be handling encoding for the service, but as the report pointed out, Microsoft’s Skype technology won’t be involved with LinkedIn Live.

Since LinkedIn introduced video to its platform in 2017, the amount of video creators and views have steadily grown. Pete Davies, the director of product management at LinkedIn, told TechCrunch that millions of LinkedIn users have used video features.

RELATED: LinkedIn adds video for sponsored content and company pages

LinkedIn adding live broadcast makes sense considering how much activity competitors including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have engaged around live video.

“Live has been the most requested feature,” Davies told the publication. He said that like live on other social platforms, LinkedIn Live will allows users to "like" and comment on streams while allowing hosts to moderate.

LinkedIn has been adding on more capabilities for video on its platform. Last year, the company introduced video for sponsored content and company pages. LinkedIn said it launched a private beta for sponsored content in October 2017, and companies including GE, Philips and Audi Canada tested out the new feature.

“These videos are helping marketers deepen engagement with their brands: On average, LinkedIn members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content,” LinkedIn wrote in a blog post.