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LinkedIn shuts down Intro six months after launch

Feature let users see LinkedIn profiles inside e-mails, but caused a backlash over security concerns

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
February 8, 2014 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/34eb

Remember the controversial LinkedIn Intro product that was released back in October? The one that connected LinkedIn profile information to the user's e-mail?

Well, six months later that service is already being killed off.

LinkedIn announced on Friday that Intro, along with audio presentation service Slideshare, will be shut down in order to allow the company to put its focus on doing fewer things better.

"This year, LinkedIn is committing to the concept of focus more than ever. We are making large, long-term investments on a few big bets, and in order to ensure their success, we need to concentrate on fewer things," Deep Nishar, SVP of Products & User Experience at LinkedIn, wrote in a blog post.

"Our goal is to provide our members with seamless experiences – not just individual products – that will help them become more productive and successful professionals."

Intro will be shut down on March 7th. It was launched last year, based on technology from Rapportive, which LinkedIn bought in 2012. The way the service worked it that it would show its users LinkedIn profiles in your iPhone Mail app.

Sound like a pretty useful feature, right?  Someone contacts you and says they have a business proposition, and you can see right away who they are, where they work and if they are worth following up with. 

The problem was that that meant that all of the user's e-mail would have to go through LinkedIn's servers, which led to fears over how secure the feature was, and how easily hackers could get their hands on the e-mails of millions of users.

The backlash was bad enough that LinkedIn responded to it via a blog post only three days after it debuted, saying that it had taken multiple precautions to make sure that user e-mails would remain secure. Apparently, however, the damage was done. 

Users of Intro will be able to uninstall it between now and March 7 and switch back to their previous mail accounts. Members can continue to use Rapportive.

"While Intro is going away, we will continue to work on bringing the power of LinkedIn to wherever our members work. Email, where the average professional spends more than a quarter of their time, is one of those places, so we’ll continue to look for ways to bring this kind of functionality to our members through existing partnerships," said Nishar.

In addition to jettisoning Intro, LinkedIn is also getting rid of Slidecast, which enables SlideShare members to upload presentations with audio. It will be shut down on April 30th.

Slidecast users will be able to download their Slidecasts until that date, and can continue to share the non-audio portions of their presentations with their network on SlideShare.net. 

In addition, LinkedIn is also going to stop supporting the LinkedIn iPad app on versions of iOS older than 6.0 on February 18th. 


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