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article imageOp-Ed: LinkedIn will now follow you around the Internet

By Tim Sandle     Feb 20, 2015 in Internet
LinkedIn, the social networking site aimed at so-termed career professionals, is extending its advertising reach. Users of the service will start to see adverts based on their profile when they visit other websites.
Facebook does it, Google does it, now LinkedIn is to join in. With certain websites, where you are required to create a profile (such as name, age, interests, job and so on), this information can stay with you as a piece of computer code as you visit other websites. When you go into these particular websites, the advert that appears in the side bar will be one targeted towards you based on your social media profile. For example, if Person A has said they are interested in fishing, when the visit a website that is in partnership with the social network where "fishing" was keyed in as an interest, then a book about fishing or details of a fishing course, within the region where the person lives, may well appear. This also means that Person A sees a different advert to, say, Person B who has a particular interest in cycling.
Some people do not mind such personalized advertising, whereas others find the concept intrusive and tantamount to "Big Brother" or the "Eye of Sauron" (or whatever your favorite analogy is).
Now LinkedIn is joining in on the game, according to The Consumerist website. LinkedIn is a little like Facebook, although the original intention was for it to be "professional" rather than "social," so instead of a cute picture of a pet dog that might appear on Facebook, someone could use the service to find a job or to join a group of like minded people. As an example, the LinkedIn profile of a Digital Journalist can be found here.
LinkedIn was launched in 2003. By October 2013 the site had 184 million people registered and 178 unique visitors per month. The majority of users are based in the U.S., where it is estimated that just under 30 percent of the population has a LinkedIn profile.
In terms of what the new changes mean, a new platform will be launched called LinkedIn Lead Accelerator. This platform will allow businesses to divide their audiences into different segments, and then to deliver ads and content in the right sequence, targeted to each group. Initially some 2.500 websites will join the scheme.
In theory, this function could be switched off. However, LinkedIn’s privacy controls are rather convoluted. If you have a LinkedIn profile and wish to opt out, then go to the top-right of the page and select “Privacy & Settings” from the account settings drop-down box. Following this, go down to the bottom of that page and click on the “Account” tab, then select “Manage Advertising Preferences.”
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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