Marketing VP and LinkedIn Co-Founder Konstantin Guericke just gave me the go-ahead to share this exciting information about a major new functionality that’ll be added to LinkedIn a few weeks from now! Here’s what he shared about InMail and how it’ll work. As for me, I can’t wait to be able to really tap the power of the entire LinkedIn member database, not just the subset my contacts are in touch with…
As you know from my prior posts and requests for input, we�ve been working on the design for key improvements to LinkedIn in the areas of search and making contact as well as providing for a sustainable revenue model and allowing everyone to understand what premium services are being charged for.
Next month, we�ll be launching the ability to search beyond your personal network and to contact people through InMail. In addition to results from your personal network, you will be able to see the best results from the entire LinkedIn Network. For example…
For example, you will be able to search for people by name and find them, whether or not they are in your personal network. When you run searches for people where you don�t know their name (e.g. searching by keyword), you will have access to a second tab to see the best results of the LinkedIn Network. To protect members from cold calls, the names of the people outside your personal network will not be shown, but people who upgrade to a premium account can contact them through InMail.
InMail will deliver the message directly to the intended recipient, and InMail recipients can choose whether or not to disclose their name and contact info to the sender based on the request, the profile of the sender, etc.. InMail recipients will also see how many of the last 10 InMails from the sender were accepted vs. declined. InMail will also be available to contact people three degrees away (but not two degrees away).
InMail should be offloading the number of introductions people have to make on behalf of their connections. Also, we will be limiting personal networks to 3 degrees�this should also reduce the number of introductions people need to make and will avoid the discomfort of making introductions where you know neither the sender or receiver. When someone is asking for an introduction to someone three degrees away, as the introducer, you will always know either the sender or the receiver and the other person will be a friend-of-a-friend.
InMail will by default be batched, so members will receive InMail at most twice a week. There will be the option to only read InMail only on the LinkedIn site and to not be shown in LinkedIn Network results and to not receive contacts via InMail. Pricing will be announced when we launch next month.
People can continue to search (using all parameters) their personal networks and request introductions to anyone within their personal network free of charge.
Search results in the personal network will be sorted by degrees of separation and then by relevance (rather than number of connections). For results in the LinkedIn Network, sorting of results will be entirely by relevance.
We�re expecting this new premium option to be used by power searchers like recruiters, analysts, etc. for whom time is money. It will avoid issues these customers face related to not finding the right people, timeliness of response, request getting stuck at a node, concerns about requests going through unknown people, etc. The overwhelming number of members will likely remain with the free version. In the future, we will be enhancing the free, personal version along with premium services, like LinkedIn Jobs, LinkedIn Services, LinkedIn for Groups and LinkedIn Premium Accounts.