Business networking site LinkedIn is flexing its social media muscle to attract teens looking to get into college, find a job and build a career. The site, which previously set an age limit of 18 and older, now allows 14-year-olds from Canada, the United States, Spain and several other countries to create an account.
LinkedIn is hoping that teens will use its site to connect with colleges, school alumni and older working people in order to build up their careers.
“We are updating our User Agreement to make LinkedIn available to students 13 years and older, depending on country,” said Eric Heath, legal director for global privacy and public policy at LinkedIn. “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.”
Heath said LinkedIn wants to encourage students to use the insights and connections of professionals on LinkedIn in order to “make the most informed decisions to start their careers off right.”
The minimum age for LinkedIn members will be in line with existing regulations in each country.
Here’s the country and age breakdown:
• 14 years old: United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, Australia and South Korea
• 16 years old: Netherlands
• 18 years old: China
• 13 years old: All other countries
Earlier, LinkedIn also launched University Pages. The feature allows students to join conversations and get updates about campus news and activities from the schools themselves. It also enables users to do online searches and explore schools in various countries and connect with alumni from these institutions and eventually build a network of friends and potential mentors, according to Christina Allen, director of product management at LinkedIn.
“We believe University Pages will be especially valuable to students making their first, big decision about where to attend college,” she said.
Heath said LinkedIn members who are minors will have different default settings to limit “publicly viewable profile information and unwanted communications.”