LinkedIn, the social networking location for business professionals, could be a helpful means to look for jobs, look for new customers or develop your business contacts.
However, the first major U.S. social networking service to sell shares to the public ran into trouble with users in the previous week over a latest type of advertising called social ads.
The ads essentially turned LinkedIn users into cheerleaders for businesses. They used names of individuals and photos to endorse products or services that the individuals had recommended or companies they followed.
Several users complained that LinkedIn automatically provided third parties the authority to use their names and photos in ads unless they opted out.
The uproar provoked LinkedIn to alter its policy. It informed users that ads would now say that people in your network – not particular individuals – recommend a product, service or company.
LinkedIn is not the first social network to attempt to tap into the power of recommendations from people you know. It is as well not the first to automatically include users in features rather than openly asking their permission.
There are the two other LinkedIn features that are on by default:
LinkedIn partners could send promotional content to users as part of marketing or hiring campaigns. The partners don’t receive specific individuals’ data; they send the promotions through LinkedIn.
LinkedIn permits those applications to observe the users’ data and if users install third-party applications.
LinkedIn has made it straightforward to change your settings. For those who desire to avoid the above features, here are step-by-step guides.
To avoid social ads:
1. Click on your name in the upper right corner. Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
2. Click on “Account.”
3. Click on “Manage Social Advertising.”
4. Uncheck the box next to “LinkedIn might utilize my name, photo in social advertising” and click “Save.”
To opt out of promotional content form partners:
1. Click on your name in the upper right corner. Choose “Settings” from the drop-down menu. 2. Click on “Email Preferences.”
3. Click on “Turn on/off Preferences.”
4. Click on “Turn on/off partner In Mail.”