LinkedIn will allow children as young as 13 to use its service, in a move to encourage and support youth in transitioning to university and employment.
The change in the age limits for using the professional social networking site comes simultaneously with the launch of LinkedIn’s “University Pages” – a service intended to facilitate communication between universities, students, prospective students and alumni in a bid to make university education more accessible and transparent.
“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 said.
“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.”
The company insists appropriate security measures will be taken to ensure the online safety of young users, by way of different default settings regarding public visibility and external contact.
A separate customer assistance service for users under 18 will also be established, while access to a security and family centre is encouraged.
The lower age limit of users differs depending on country, with China maintaining 18 as the lowest age limit, the Netherlands opting for a limit of 16 years, and the limit for Australia, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Spain and the United States set at 14. In all other countries, children aged 13 and above will be able to use the service.