The live audio feature LinkedIn confirmed it was working on last year will reportedly debut later this month in beta as part of the company’s new events platform. Microsoft-owned LinkedIn said last March that it was doing “early tests to create a unique audio experience connected to your professional identity.” According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn’s all-virtual events platform will eventually include moderated panel-style discussions, roundtables, and fireside chats, with the formats left up to the event hosts.
The virtual events will be built on LinkedIn’s in-house tools, and event participants will potentially be able to converse with each other during and after the live events. The video version is expected to be available later in the spring. TechCrunch reports that unlike other companies with audio chat features, such as Twitter’s Spaces, LinkedIn doesn’t plan to include ticketed events, where organizers could charge for access. LinkedIn didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment from The Verge.
While Clubhouse drew in a big audience during the pandemic with its invite-only audio events (it’s now open to all, even without an invitation to join), it’s been overshadowed in recent months by competitors from established social platforms. Twitter began testing its Spaces to a limited audience in December of 2020 (and made it more widely available last year); Spotify introduced its live audio app, Greenroom, and Facebook added its Live Audio Rooms in June; and Discord launched its Stage Channels last March.