Long the domain of those 18 years and older, LinkedIn on Sept. 12 began welcoming high school students to start their “professional stories” on the networking site.
After all, LinkedIn is “not just for top executives. It’s not just for old people with heavy briefcases. It’s for you!” says a video (below) aimed at selling teens, 14 and older in the U.S., on creating a profile and updating it often.
And LinkedIn has created content for the younger set. In August, the site added university pages, which are similar to company pages, for “smart, ambitious students [who are] already thinking about their futures when they step into high school.”
Lowering the minimum age for creating a LinkedIn account has elicited concerned speculation from some. Do kids belong on a professional site? Will this hurt LinkedIn’s brand? Will teens even be attracted to LinkedIn?
“I find it difficult to understand what kind of professional insight/content a 14-year-old could possibly offer their followers,” True Media’s Krista Lewis writes. “Better yet, when someone is 14 and has only been exposed to the playful side of social media, will LinkedIn be something they even want to use?”
Chances are, we think, LinkedIn will be attractive to those “smart, ambitious students” referenced above (though that’s not to say that students not on LinkedIn lack either smarts or ambition). Teens who are more interested in the social side of social media will stick to the social networks.