Unlocking video conferencing across LinkedIn - Deepstash

Unlocking video conferencing across LinkedIn

We created video meetings by building a brand-new service to handle all communication between Azure Communication Services and the rest of LinkedIn, which allows us to consolidate all the authentication and business logic around video meetings. Additionally, we have developed video conferencing client SDKs for each platform to consolidate interaction with the server stack and provide a standardized user interface for video meetings.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Building Microsoft-powered native video meetings on LinkedIn

Azure Communications Services is built on the same technology that powers Microsoft Teams, which already supports millions of users daily. When a LinkedIn member wants to start a video meeting, LinkedIn services will communicate with Azure Communication Services to generate a user token and call token for the occasion. LinkedIn apps then join the call by using the Azure client library, providing the specified call token and identifying the LinkedIn member with the user token.

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LinkedIn Conferencing Infrastructure was built as a one-stop video conferencing solution catered to LinkedIn. Products that integrate with this conferencing platform get reliability, scale, monitoring, and trust and security integrations out-of-the-box. LICI empowers partner teams to build new conferencing features while acting as the control plane between the LinkedIn client libraries, Azure Communication Services, and LinkedIn products.

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Our vision for video meetings encompassed three goals:

  1. Members-first: Building a members-first feature for easy video conferencing
  2. Modular: Unlocking the power of video conferencing across the LinkedIn ecosystem
  3. Scalable and reliable: Enabling video conferencing that can scale to support hundreds of millions of members

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As the world has increasingly embraced virtual connections over the past year, video communication has become essential to professional conversations. With over 744 million members on LinkedIn, we want to make professional conversations more personal by helping members meet face-to-face over video, especially in this time of hybrid and remote work where many of us cannot meet in person.

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Some of the areas that LICI handles include:

  • Conferencing infrastructure user access credentials and tokens. Orchestration and setup of the conference.
  • Managing the conference lifecycle.
  • Managing the participant roster.
  • Access control of both the overall conferencing infrastructure and individual conferences.

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As customers of Azure, we have helped tune and influence the roadmap to include our necessary feature set. With our testing and feedback loop, we have also influenced the monitoring signals and events that are useful for customers to ingest from Azure Communication Services. Looking at the API from a customer perspective, we have helped them tune their API signature. The Azure team has also been very responsive and agile in making any desired changes.

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With multiple teams working to build the conferencing experience, we had to make sure the collaboration and integration went seamlessly. We achieved this through regular working sessions and bug bashing across teams.

To make sure there are no regressions introduced with new iterations of the service, we run validation tests that mimic the user behaviour in both early integration and production environments on a cron-like schedule.

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RELATED IDEA

Saves time and money

If your company operates with a hybrid or remote workforce, video conferencing saves time and money for both the employer and the employee. It's a great way to facilitate face-to-face meetings.

Virtual meetings require little planning and organization in comparison to physical ones With the money you've saved it can be allocated towards other aspects of your business that could benefit from extra time and investment.

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Excess meetings

Remote working has only exacerbated the problem of excess meetings, with casual deskside chats replaced by default half-hour Zoom calls. Analysis of employees' meeting invitations at 21,500 global companies by Harvard Business School revealed that although meetings were on average 12 minutes shorter versus pre-pandemic, people were attending 13% more of them, with the number of invitees rising by 14%.

More meetings, for more employees, mean more fragmented workdays – which impacts on productivity. Zoom fatigue creeps in, the risk of burnout spikes.

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