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LinkedIn to Start Charging for Mass Mailing to Groups

by Jan 10, 2014, 6:46 pm ET

LinkedinLogoTransparentLinkedIn is making a change to the way recruiters can reach out to members of a group. Beginning Tuesday LinkedIn will charge for sending mass mailings to group members.

InMails recruiters send from Recruiter to fellow group members who aren’t first-degree connections will be deducted from their allotted monthly InMail credits.

Previously, anyone with a LinkedIn Recruiter account could send free InMail messages to any number of members of groups of which they, too were a member. It cost nothing, for example, for a LinkedIn Recruiter customer to send one or 1,001 emails to fellow group members.

Most Recruiter customers used the free service judiciously. Enough, however, did not, that LinkedIn chose to end the free mass-mailing option. As a LinkedIn spokesman gently explained it, charging recruiters to send InMails helps to “encourage them to tailor their message and maintain a positive member experience.” In other words, it cuts down on spam messaging.

However, he said, “The vast majority of recruiters will not be affected by this” as they have more than enough InMail credits to accommodate their mail volume.

The rule change will have no affect on non-customer recruiters because they never could send mass mailings. They will still be able to send free InMails to fellow group members from LinkedIn.com and will also be able to continue to post jobs and messages to the group.

The impending change has prompted a number of sourcers and recruiters to call foul.

Sourcer Maureen Sharib wrote a lengthy blog post railing about he change and suggesting the change might prompt legal action.

Elsewhere, commenting about the change, Cathy Mannis said: “LI is really making it impossible for professionals to have an exchange of ideas and, thereby, building professional relationships. ”

Other comments on Twitter and elsewhere are equally as harsh. But not everyone sees the move as a big impact. Notes Matt Charney, “Anyone whose sourcing or engagement strategy is affected by this news is either a troll, a bad recruiter, or a B2B content marketer.”

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • Gareth Cooper

    I personally do not care one way or the other but LI have reduced a portion of their initial service offering and so it only seems fair to reduce that price tag for all or even increase the quota of Inmails. I get it that this is about decreasing spam but if you drastically change the terms of service the price should change to reflect the value for money.

  • Stephanie McDonald

    Has LI defined “mass” in any way? If I sent 10 InMails to people in the same group, am I going to face electrocution, or worse, a TOS violation?

    I really am tired of LI continually degrading the services I pay too much for. They are going to be surprised when other companies start creeping into their marketshare because the want to partner vs monetize every interaction.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobsmadsen Jacob Madsen

    (Thorough) perspective from Glen Cathey: http://bit.ly/1frpIIh