LinkedIn adds university section to entice students
Default settings will protect privacy as age limit drops to 13 in some countries
LinkedIn was founded in 2002 , and has since built up more than 225 million users in 200 countries worldwide. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Professional networking site LinkedIn has changed its user agreement and added a university section as it tries to entice younger users to the service.
The company announced yesterday in a post on its blog that it was dropping its age limit to 13 years old in some countries; previously, LinkedIn required users be 18 years or older to join.
The new age limits will take effect from September 12th.
In the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, Australia and South Korea, users will be able to join from 14 years of age; that age limit is 16 for the Netherlands and 18 for users in China. All other countries will have the default age limit of 13 years or older imposed on new members.
“Smart, ambitious students are already thinking about their futures when they step foot into high school – where they want to go to college, what they want to study, where they want to live and work,” LinkedIn’s policy director Eric Heath wrote. “We want to encourage these students to leverage the insights and connections of the millions of successful professionals on LinkedIn, so they can make the most informed decisions and start their careers off right.”
Users under 18 will have different default settings in place to protect their private information, such as hiding their birthdate and eliminating the profiles from the public search facility, and limit who can contact them directly.
The move came as LinkedIn unveiled its new product, University Pages, which allows schools, students and graduates to connect and explore career opportunities. More than 200 colleges have taken up the new pages to date. University College Dublin’s page is live on the site, with others set to follow in the coming weeks.
“We believe University Pages will be especially valuable for students making their first, big decision about where to attend college,” said Christina Allen, director of product management at LinkedIn.
The new University Pages will allow students and alumni to get updates on what is going on in the college campus, and ask questions; research colleges abroad; look into different career paths; and build a network of contacts before leaving the school buildings.
LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and has since built up more than 225 million users in 200 countries worldwide. The company established its international headquarters in Dublin in 2010.