News Analysis: Inside The Rationale Behind @LinkedIn Turning Off Its CSV Connections Download Tool

Published on July 25, 2015 by R "Ray" Wang

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@LinkedIn Fighting Off Scrapers Inadvertently Angers Users

linkedin-logo.

Over the weekend, Michael Korcuska, VP of Product Management at LinkedIn, responded to customer complaints with a series of blog posts explaining their rationale (see Figure 1 and 2).

Figure 1. Turning Our CSV Connections Download Tool Back On

The Bottom Line: Users Regain Unfettered Access To Their Own Data While Long Time Partners Remain Shut Out

There appears to be an internal LinkedIn effort to lock down access to the social graph by scrapers.  Based on conversations with over a dozen LinkedIn partners, many old time partners have had their LinkedIn feed access cancelled or terminated over the past 6 months.  The goal is to keep partners who may have been building new services and potentially competitive services on the LinkedIn social graph from gaining access.  These partners remain miffed at why they were curtailed access and in many cases unsure what LinkedIn’s future business model will be.

Unfortunately, the measures taken, may have been too harsh and users were caught in the cross fire.  The good news – LinkedIn did recognize the impact on users and the perception this had on their access to their data.

More importantly was this statement which reaffirms the brand promise of LinkedIn “We believe that the data our members enter into LinkedIn is theirs and they should be able to export it. We are also committed to ensuring members have control of what data can be exported by their connections.”

Kudos for the relatively fast response!

Some other great POV’s

LinkedIn Is Not Facebook, But It Clearly Wants To Be And It’s Turning Away Users from Theo Priestley

digibyte – Has LinkedIn lobotomized its users? from Dennis Howlett

Your POV.

How do you feel about the way LinkedIn handled the situation to date?  Do you feel that LinkedIn broke your trust? Do you believe that this is their data or is this your data?  Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationR (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org.

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