Among “key updates” the company said it would introduce, it flagged “sponsored content in the LinkedIn feed.”
“This new feature gives LinkedIn’s advertising partners the opportunity to serve designated content that our members can like, comment, and share,” the announcement read.
Kim Celestre, an analyst with Forrester Research, indicated the advertising was a predictable and necessary step for the company. But she didn’t expect users to welcome it.
“I expect users will be a bit disgruntled over this, especially if the sponsored content populates the news feed with more ‘noise.’ One of the attractive aspects of LinkedIn is that the sponsored content and ads were non-intrusive. This changes that,” she said.
Depending on how the forthcoming policies address privacy issues, those might also spur user unrest, according to David Jacobs, the director of the privacy project at EPIC.
“Some of the changes could be beneficial, such as giving users better access to their data. I think that ‘clarifying and simplifying’ privacy policies is usually code for ‘giving ourselves the right to increase the commercial exploitation of your data,’ but we will have to wait and see,” Jacobs said.