Product Management Interview Question:
Taking learnings from “Stories” to come up with enhanced video features.

Problem statement: LinkedIn plans to come up with new features for brands and individuals to create content and engage with their followers. LinkedIn plans to take the learnings from Stories and evolve it into a reimagined video experience across LinkedIn that’s even richer and more conversational. As the VP of Product at LinkedIn, you want to leverage this insight and improve upon LinkedIn stories for enabling influencers, organizations to engage more with their audience.

The goal of the improvement is to “increase engagement”. Engagement is defined as the number of people interacting with the video content i.e. discovering, playing the video, adding comments, liking/disliking it and sharing it. The two “target” personas laid out in the problem statement are “influencers” and “organizations”. The way we define “influencers” are people who are skilled at something and want to impart knowledge to folks who have similar interests. Organisations can be small, medium or large and sell a product or a service. Since stories is a feature for the mobile available worldwide we will limit the scope to mobile only and rollout to every region(depending on the roll-out strategy).

Now let us understand why these personas are on Linkedin i.e. what are their jobs to be done” on the platform. For influencers, it is building a “following and community”, to be able to share their knowledge/skill on one or more domains. Through this community they intend to sell their services in the form of courses, events or affiliate links of sponsored products. They are also passionate about imparting knowledge and giving back. For organisations, LinkedIn is a platform to market themselves as a brand (to raise funding for example) and also their product/services. Organisations also want to hire great talent.

Even though the motivations of both the personas overlap, it is important to prioritise one of them to have a staggered roll-out. The persona of the “influencers” seems to be a good place to start for the following reasons: Influencers need to post often to build an engaged community. Linkedin has seen a huge growth on the platform in the last few years because of an increased number of people who want to work for themselves. Influencers are usually a one man army who may have low budgets which means they don’t have access to an entire content, marketing, editing team and a tool like this may start a flywheel. The risks are lower with influencers than big organisations incase something goes south.

Let’s focus on the pain points of the prioritised persona, the influencers:

  1. The user do not engage with fleeting content as much because they probably don’t see it. People don’t scroll through LinkedIn in their free time and therefore influencers choose to just post content on the feed instead of a story that fleets away in 24 hours. They want their content to stay longer so that their followers can discover it.

Now let’s translate these pain points into solutions:

  1. Making recorded content stay longer: This is a low hanging fruit where the content can stay for 2–5 days ( we will have to experiment on what’s the best suited time span for it to live). Creating the feeling of FOMO which brings users back to the platform needs to be balanced with giving them enough time to discover the content.

For the purposes of the article, I want to also touchbase on “organization” as a persona as well.

Pain points for the organizations:

  1. Unable to hire great talent: It’s boring to just read the JDs which are usually long reads and don’t really capture an applicant’s attention who apply to 100 roles in a day.

Now let’s translate these pain points into solutions:

  1. Job descriptions can have a small video from the hiring manager explaining about the role, what are they looking for and who would be an ideal candidate. This adds a personal touch, eliminates back and forth calls between candidates and recruiters and can be very beneficial for small organisations who often struggle to find great talent.

Using LOE and impact as prioritisation criteria:

  1. The ability to record longer videos and letting videos stay for 3–5 days instead of 24 hours is easy to develop and will reach a higher number of people.

These two features can be used by both the personas mentioned in the problem statement to solve their pain points and therefore can be added to the 3 month roadmap.

Content templates are slightly more complex to build but we can start with a few popular categories created by experts. This may require budgets to pay the experts but can be really helpful to people seeking inspiration in reducing inertia. Video editing feature with basic functionalities can really start the flywheel and allow for more/better content creation. It will be worth understanding if integrating a tool makes sense or not and will need to talk to users to make a more informed decision before putting in that investment. Partnerships can be also be an alternative to creating a tool from scratch. These can be added to a 6–9 month roadmap.

Introducing paid content on the platform should be after we are convinced that the video content format is really engaging. This seems like a good addition to the roadmap from an 18 months perspective about key levers in the business and how they might evolve.

Metrics:

  1. Number of users viewing the fleeting content

Roll-out plan: Releasing the feature to a smaller segment of users only in one country ( for example to 5% influencers in the US )will be good to see if this form of content gets more discoverability and engagement over a period of say 2 weeks. If it does then it can be rolled out to 20%, then 50% along with a few other countries like Europe, Australia etc eventually rolling it out worldwide.

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