Full Profiles of 3rd Degree LinkedIn Network No Longer Free?


Do you use LinkedIn for free?

Can you still view full profiles of your 3rd degree network?

You may have read about some recent changes that have affected some LinkedIn users here and here with regard to 3rd degree profile visibility.

Prior to both of those articles, I had a recruiter who I used to work with at a past company reach out to me the other week asking me if I had seen that LinkedIn is no longer allowing free users to view full profiles of 3rd degree connections.

Now, like many people, I’ve been wondering for quite some time when LinkedIn would start making changes to limit the data available to free users, so I immediately went to LinkedIn to see what he was talking about and I was able to view full profiles of 3rd degree connections, so I asked him to send me some screenshots to see what he was seeing.

Here’s one:



For those who are affected and are currently not premium account holders, this has a major impact – the 3rd degree network is of course the largest portion of anyone’s LinkedIn network. This means that those who are affected no longer have the ability to view, in some cases, for well connected people, millions to 10’s of millions of profiles.

Of course, you can still X-Ray search LinkedIn via Google or Bing to find any public LinkedIn profile.

However, LinkedIn’s advanced search interface is vastly superior to Google or Bing when it comes to enabling the surgical retrieval specific LinkedIn profiles.

Remember, you can always use LinkedIn with a free account like I do for the most part (although I now benefit from access to LinkedIn Recruiter), which is through running highly effective searches using LinkedIn’s advanced search interface, and when viewing a 3rd degree profile (or even “private” profiles beyond your network),  leverage unique phrases or combinations of terms in Google or Bing to review the full public profile.

For example – this is a profile that was used in the SocialTalent article:



Take some info from the profile and ask Google or Bing if they’ve seen that information before.

In this case, Google replied, “Yes Glen, I have seen that combination of terms before, on this public LinkedIn profile.”

What? Google doesn’t speak to you in your head?

Notice I didn’t even have to use the site: command.



Of course, you can also upgrade your LinkedIn account, which I am sure many people will do.

Don’t Hate – Appreciate

I am sure many people who have been holding out and using LinkedIn for free without ever paying a dime for LinkedIn’s data are not pleased by this change.

To those of you who are outraged, reflect on how you have benefitted from free LinkedIn data over the years and appreciate the fact that you were able to do so. In some cases, there are recruiters and companies who have made hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars (or avoided similar amounts in executive search fees) without paying for LinkedIn access.

Also – let’s remember that LinkedIn is now a publicly traded company, and like any other such company, they are responsible for consistently increasing revenues and profits for their shareholders.

Even if you pay for LinkedIn’s most expensive premium account, if you use it effectively, the ROI in terms of revenue and profit generated for staffing companies or agency fees avoided for corporate customers can be quite high.

Have You Been Affected?

To date, I can still view full profiles of my 3rd degree LinkedIn network for free.

I know that LinkedIn rolls out changes a little bit at a time and they typically don’t make changes that affect their entire network all at once. I know several people who have been affected by this particular change, but many still have yet to be affected.

Can you still view full profiles of 3rd degree connections with your free account?


  • Wow, I can no longer see mine either. I think since I was one of their first 200,000 users I should be able to keep that benefit as a gift as an early promoter of the tool! (worth a shot anyway!)

  • LClark

    You can also still use the share to find last name.

  • jeri R

    I can’t use share anymore to bring out last names or full names either, for that matter (i.e. to turn a profile named aptly “linkedinmember” to a name). I have a recruiter account, too. Changes are coming. Looking for new tips on how to overcome this….

  • Dana Young

    Glenn I believe the reason you are able to see the profiles in your 3rd degree network is that you do have a premium account which is tied to your free personal account.

  • Viktor

    Well, I am not able to see 3rd connections from last week, colleagues of mine have same issues.

    However, the new registered account is no affected.

  • D Young

    I stand corrected, I have a premium account and when I am on my free personal account I don’t have full access to 3rd degree contacts.

  • I just noticed today that I cannot see 3rd levels where I could yesterday. Does anyone know if subscribing to the less expensive accounts with LinkedIn will still provide the access to the 3rd level connections? I am in a small office on a tight budget, which is why I loved being able to search for free.

  • lclark

    I can still see 3rd degree last names either using shared or above Google search. Send me email and I will help. LinkedUp http://www.linkedin.com/in/lashbeckclark

  • I’m finding that if you highlight the person’s name and paste it into the Linkedin Search box and hit search that person will appear and once you click on them their whole profile appears as well (I have a free version also). Does this work for anyone else?

  • Patrick Ryan

    No luck with that suggestion

  • Patrick Ryan

    When completing a Bing X-Ray search I can see the full name of a 3rd connection but the full profile is still being hidden.

  • Liam Fitzgerald

    Once you have the hidden profile and full name of the 3rd connection, right click on the public profile (in Google Chrome) then click “Open in incognito window”. This should then, if they haven’t restricted it, show their full profile.

  • Guys – I’ve done some poling around this weekend and have found 4 ways to workaround not being able to view full profiles of 3rd degree LinkedIn connections. Will be publishing the post detailing all 4 methods shortly.

  • Pingback: How to View Full Profiles of Your 3rd Degree LinkedIn Network()

  • Works for me, Cameron! :)

  • This works great… good call!

  • Glen Cathey

    Yep – if you search for someone’s name on LinkedIn, they assume you know the person, and will show you their full profile. See method #2 here http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/2012/10/how-to-view-full-profiles-of-your-3rd-degree-linkedin-network/

  • Stuart Law

    There is a simple way around this.

    All you have to do is share the profile you’re looking to identify with one of your connections (in my case I used a colleague and advised him to ignore my message). Then go into your sent items, select the message you’ve just sent and open it. At the bottom left you will see it says VIEW PROFILE. Simply click here and hey presto, the full profile is available to view.

    I was advised that you can Google search to bring up a full unrestricted list as opposed to the 10 page version, however I am yet to find out how. If I do work it out I will update it on here.

    Happy hunting

  • Isla_CH

    I just discovered this recently after downgrading from a premium to a free account. It’s frustrating to me because as a Careers Adviser I encourage my clients to try networking to help them with career research/decisions and to find opportunities (and LinkedIn is great for setting up information interviews).

    Although I may be able to upgrade again in future, many job seekers/students can’t afford to at this stage. I think LinkedIn should introduce some kind of intermediate account option, costing less than Premium but with some of the benefits, to tap into the market of those who can’t/won’t afford all the benefits of Premium but need more than basic access.

  • Pingback: How to View Full Profiles of Your 3rd Degree LinkedIn Network | Make More Money Online Now()

  • Becky J

    This doesn’t work anymore. Now they ask you to sign in or sign up in order to look at any LinkedIn profile.

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