The audio-only service will launch this month in beta, to be followed by a spring launch of the video version. The service is aimed at creators who use LinkedIn as organisers and hosts.
“Our philosophy is to put the organisers in control,” product manager Jake Poses told TechCrunch. “We want to make it easier to host virtual round tables, fireside chats, and more. Some may want the event to be more formal, or less formal. Some might want to communicate with their audience, to open up to the floor. We’re giving professionals interactivity and support.”
Despite rumours that the new events service would have to be paid for by tickets sold to users, Poses told TechCrunch that there are no plans for introducing ticketing at this stage.
When it launches later this month hosts will be able record and run events straight from the platform, and LinkedIn will list events and help advertise them across its platform.
Some voices have expressed concern about creating yet another virtual platform when people are getting online fatigue and there is a move to return to offices or at least hybrid working. Nevertheless, Poses feels that there will always be a need for virtual meetings.
“As long as I could remember, I have gone to talks and meetups. These are the mainstays of how professionals communicate and learn things,” said Poses. “But they require money, time to travel, courage to go into a room and speak, and space to run an event. Our belief is that moving from in person to virtual is actually democratising and opening up access to many more people.”
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