Keep Calm & Message On: LinkedIn Group Messaging Still Free

Posted by | January 13, 2014 | LinkedIn | 8 Comments

 

There were a number of tweets, blog posts and online discussions late last week that stirred up a great deal of confusion over whether or not you would soon still be able to send free messages to fellow group group members on LinkedIn. I’ve got the straight dope from LinkedIn and will demonstrate with multiple screenshots what is still free for everyone and what is not going to be free for LinkedIn Recruiter license holders.

I believe the confusion began with emails LinkedIn recently sent out to Recruiter license holders explaining that they will be disabling the ability to send free InMails to group members from LinkedIn Recruiter as of January 14th.

Based on the chatter online, some people seem to have incorrectly interpreted this to mean that no one will be able to send free messages to fellow group members on LinkedIn.com any more (see example image at the bottom of the post).

This tweet from LinkedIn cleared up the confusion for me on Friday:

LinkedIn Group Messaging Still Free

However, as I began to write this post, I came across several examples of people I know claiming they spoke with LinkedIn reps who said free group messaging was being eliminated for everyone. Even though I was quite confident that @HireOnLinkedIn knew her stuff, I decided to check with her one last time:

Question to LinkedIn about free group messaging

Within 2 hours of that tweet (on Sunday!), I received an email from a Senior LinkedIn PMM copying several other LinkedIn folks definitively clarifying that free group messaging on LinkedIn isn’t going anywhere:

As you have noticed (and commented in Social Media), we have disabled the ability send to FREE InMails to Fellow Group Members from Linked Recruiter.  This Change is only applicable to LinkedIn Recruiter customers (not LinkedIn members).

Background: When the feature was launched in LinkedIn Recruiter several years ago, the intention was to provide members with an opportunity to connect and share ideas within groups while enabling recruiters to participate and find talent. Based on a recent analysis, we have noticed that this feature is being used in ways we hadn’t anticipated, often creating negative experiences for both members and recruiters.

Here are some additional clarification points.  

1.  Free Group messaging is and WILL CONTINUE TO BE AVAILABLE to all LinkedIn members

2.  All group members CAN continue to send messages to fellow group members on LinkedIn.com

3.  LinkedIn Recruiter customers CAN continue to send InMails to fellow group members but these InMails will be deducted from their allotted InMail credits.

Finally to answer your tweet:  Free group messaging isn’t going away for any member.

Hope this clarifies any confusion.

It certainly clears things up for me.

Screenshots: LinkedIn InMails to Fellow Group Members

This is what will no longer be free – from LinkedIn Recruiter ONLY, as of January 14th:

LinkedIn Group Messaging from Recruiter

Prior to the change LinkedIn is instituting, this is what you would see when attempting to send a message to someone with whom you have a group in common:

LinkedIn Messaging Free to Group Members

After the change, this is what it will look like to LinkedIn Recruiter users even if they do have a group in common with the person they are trying to message:

LinkedIn Message Costs 1 InMail

Screenshots: Free LinkedIn Group Messaging

When you’re on LinkedIn.com and in a LinkedIn group and you want to send a message to someone, even if they aren’t connected to you in any way other than sharing the same group, you will still be able to send free messages to anyone who hasn’t disabled the ability.

LinkedIn Group Messaging Example

When you click “send message,” here is what you will continue to see:

Free messaging to fellow LinkedIn Group members

So keep calm and message on.

I should remind you that LinkedIn group members can elect to not allow other group members to send them messages via LinkedIn. Here is where users can find this group messaging setting:

LinkedIn Group Messaging Option

 

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About Glen Cathey

Glen Cathey is a sourcing and recruiting thought leader with over 16 years of experience working in large staffing agency and global RPO environments (>1,000 recruiters and nearly 100,000 hires annually). Starting out his career as a top producing recruiter, he quickly advanced into senior management roles and now currently serves as the SVP of Strategic Talent Acquisition and Innovation for Kforce, working out of their renowned National Recruiting Center with over 300 recruiters. Often requested to speak on sourcing and recruiting best practices, trends and strategies, Glen has traveled internationally to present at many talent acquisition conferences (5X LinkedIn Talent Connect - U.S. '10, '11, '12, Toronto '12, London '12, 2X Australasian Talent Conference - Sydney & Melbourne '11, '12, 6X SourceCon, 2X TruLondon, 2X HCI) and is regularly requested to present to companies (e.g., PwC, Deloitte, Intel, Booz Allen Hamilton, Citigroup, etc.). This blog is his personal passion and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone other than himself.

  • jacobstenmadsen

    Knight in shining armour coming to the rescue and clarification of what have been confusing many, – thank you Glen

  • http://www.sourcehdq.net/ Anita Kapczynski

    Finally. Clarity amid confusion.

  • Roger

    So people who are paying for LinkedIn Recruiter who want to message people in shared groups, it will now cost them one of their InMails, while everyone else with a free/non-recruiter account can message people in shared groups for free? I’m assuming they can log out of the LinkedIn Recruiter tool and then send a message to a shared group member for free, but in essence isn’t this just adding another step for LinkedIn’s paying customers? I suppose if they aren’t paying attention it will cause those customers to have to purchase more InMails if they run out in a given month.

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  • Jessica Wisdom

    I agree with Roger on this one. I use LinkedIn Recruiter, my company pays a high price for this tool, but if I had a free account I could message people in my groups for free but will now be docked an inmail credit? That doesn’t seem right.

  • tech recruiter

    Will not be using LInkedIn Recruiter product anymore. Not sure what Im paying for anymore.

  • http://brenthealy.com Brent Healy

    Noticed that the first example doesn’t work for my non-recruiter account, but the going to the group and messaging from there does work for my account.

  • http://www.elevationhealthcare.com Stan McElveen

    Are there any current tools or shortcuts that will automatically find the person through the group allowing a free message? just curious. Thanks