LinkedIn cozies up to the youth with new university pages

linkedin university pages of oregon header

It’s abundantly clear that the tech news cycle very much cares what young people think. While there are certainly a few holes in the theory that teens are an air-tight method of trend forecasting (flippancy; generally horrible taste in most things; lack of foresight; lack of decision-making skills… all of which can be traced back to being 16-something), there’s also no doubt that social platforms are away of the media lure these young users and their digital loyalty bring them.

So it stands to reason that if you’re a network with a minimum age requirement, you’re missing out. While LinkedIn wasn’t necessarily adult-only, the fact that it revolved entirely around your career and professional life cut out a significant demographic. But not anymore: Today LinkedIn announced University Pages to court college students.

“We believe University Pages will be especially valuable for students making their first, big decision about where to attend college,” LinkedIn says. “Therefore, beginning on September 12, we will be making LinkedIn available to high school students who can use LinkedIn to explore schools worldwide, greatly expand their understanding of the careers available, and get a head start on building a network of family and friends to help guide them at every milestone.”

Alongside this announcement, LinkedIn also points out that it’s updated the minimum age requirements: In the U.S., Canada, Germany, Spain, Australia, and South Korea you must be 14. In the Netherlands, 16; China, 18; and 13 years old everywhere else. Prior to today, you had to be 18 to use LinkedIn. It’s worth noting that there are new privacy settings for the teenagers that are about to join the site.

But now the gates have been opened wide – and while it means the younger among us will certainly start using the site, don’t expect the great Tumblrization of LinkedIn to begin. It’s still buttoned-up compared to the “social-only” networks. The 14 year olds signing up for a LinkedIn profile are, assumedly, doing so to start some (way too early, in my opinion) college and career prep – not to share Breaking Bad GIFs and troll their peers.

Of course you can never account for how a user base will interpret and affect a platform. One near certainty? Young, driven users will be ready to hit up their schools’ alumni for advice or connections. Prepare yourselves for the onslaught of advice-seeking suck ups who want an in (and then get off your high horse and remember how desperate we all were for jobs when graduation and loan repayments were looming).

One other implication of the LinkedIn university pages is how they will challenge colleges’ Facebook presence. LinkedIn university pages include standard info, but data like gender breakdowns, tuition costs, student-to-faculty ratios, and graduation rates – as well as the previously mentioned ties to alumni using the platform. It’s much more detailed than what schools can provide on Facebook, and students more and more are using social apps to get an idea of what student life is like. “Overall, according to the survey, 66 percent of prospective college students said that schools should have a social media presence, and 45 percent noted that they have been influenced by a school’s engagement on these platforms,” says the U.S. News and World Report

Another source of student body revelations? Confession pages and Twitter handles – although prefer to keep things on the less inflammatory side, LinkedIn pages might be a better bet.

Emerging Tech

Stanford A.I. can realistically score computer animations just by watching them

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a computer system that’s able to synthesize realistic sounds for 3D animation, based entirely on its knowledge about the physical world.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix in August, from ‘Arrested Development’ to ‘Dark Tourist’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in August 2018, from ‘Blue Valentine’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Mobile

Here’s how to hide your active status on Instagram

The Activity Status mode on Instagram shows people whenever you are online, similar to Facebook Messenger. If that annoys you, here's how to hide your active status on Instagram with a quick settings change.
Computing

The Facebook dating service will be free of charge and free of ads

Facebook is getting into the dating game. While the feature was one of the surprises from this year's F8, new details suggest what the feature may entail, including a few screenshots from a computer programmer.
Features

The numbers don’t lie: Facebook is faltering. So what will eventually replace it?

Facebook is faltering, and the data prove it. User growth is slowing, employee outlooks are dipping, and young people are looking elsewhere. But for Facebook to fail, an alternative must arise. Who will it be?
Social Media

Three million people quit Snapchat after the redesign

After a million users signed petitions to get the old Snapchat back, the network's user count is showing the early results of the changes with a three-million-user drop in daily active users.
Social Media

Facebook wants to help you find a mentor with its latest Groups feature

Facebook is designed for connecting to other people -- so why not mentors? Today, Facebook launched a program inside Groups that allows for two users to go through a mentorship program together.
Social Media

Facebook’s less cluttered friend list feeds are no more

Facebook friend feeds created a more curated news feed -- but not anymore. Facebook discontinued the feature, saying it wasn't widely used. The move will help the network focus on improving the news feed, the company says.
Photography

Starting a vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability.
Photography

For Monaris, it’s a photography career launched on an iPhone and Instagram

On Instagram, she's known just as Monaris. But street photographer Paola Franqui has built a following largely with an iPhone and a smile. We sat down with her to talk photography, style, and Instagram, of course.
Mobile

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Social Media

Kids can now initiate a friend request on Messenger Kids by using a password

Facebook's messaging app for the under-13 crowd required parents, not kids, to initiate the process of adding a friend. Now kids can start the process by using a unique passphrase -- a feature that still requires parental approval.