LinkedIn is testing improvements to its virtual-events feature, including new functionality that would let hosts charge admission fees.
The changes could give LinkedIn a new source of revenue, depending on whether the company takes a cut on fees.
The development was first reported in TechCrunch, based on an anonymous tip from an IT expert who accessed new code in LinkedIn’s app for the iPhone. A LinkedIn spokesperson confirmed the news.
“Amid the changing world of work and transition to a nearly all-remote workforce, LinkedIn Events has seen a surge in growth, with 21 million people attending an Event on LinkedIn in 2020,” LinkedIn spokesperson Nicole Leverich told TechCrunch. “We continue to learn from member and customer feedback and test new ways to improve the experience. As part of this, we are exploring options for payment in the Events product based on feedback from event organizers.”
LinkedIn Events first rolled out in late 2019 with a focus on creating and promoting in-person events. But after the Covid-19 lockdowns, the feature was adapted for virtual events, and last year the company introduced an option to advertise events.
This isn’t the first hint that LinkedIn is developing online payments.
Payments — and potential LinkedIn commissions — were also reported to be part of LinkedIn’s evolving Services Marketplace, where freelance workers can offer their talents on a temporary basis.
A basic version of the Services Marketplace has rolled out over the past couple months, but so far there’s no way for providers and employers to transact on LinkedIn itself.