LinkedIn, a social network with more than 100 million members, is a very successful social network for its gender.
Unlike Facebook, it charges for its services, such as the ability to connect easily with potential business contacts or employers; it also makes money from selling adverts on the site, and from charging recruiters who want easy access to its members.
All this success, brought LinkedIn to the stock market last May.
The Facebook approach: don't reveal our privacy changes
Under the guise of providing more privacy control to the user, the social network has automatically opted-in its users into the social advertising program.
That means LinkedIn users are now unwittingly becoming a representative of a company having their profile's photo shown close to the advertisement these company do, provided those users previously recommended or followed the company.
It's the same concept of Facebook's Like button or Google +1 Button, but in this case users don't know that "liking" equal supporting.
Online reviews, comments and now "likes" by users are disproportionately influential to consumer buying decisions. These are second only to personal word-of-mouth in terms of purchasing influence, but once online that are the main way to drive the influence.
LinkedIn decision is not coming out of the blue, and this utterly confirmed by some surveys; in one of those, the majority of the American respondents said that online reviews of a product or service given by the earlier users have influenced their purchasing decision.
Now, due to the features LinkedIn provides, although this privacy glitch won’t please users, it’s unlikely users to derail from using the site.
However, for those who really don't fancy this new sponsorship idea, that what you have to do.
Opt-out from LinkedIn social and third party advertising
- Hover over the user name in the top right hand corner of any LinkedIn page and click ‘Settings’.
- On the Settings page, click ‘Account’.
- On the Account tab, click ‘Manage Social Advertising’.
- Uncheck the box next to “LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising.” and click the save button.