Meet the new LinkedIn, now also for career-focused teens

The site wants to expand its user base to college-minded teens

By , IDG News Service |  Internet

The site's University Pages and new age policies provide an opportunity for growth, LinkedIn spokeswoman Crystal Braswell said. The site already has 30 million students and recent college grads as members, and they're the fastest-growing demographic on the site, Braswell said.

With around 1,000 University Pages, only a small slice of the world's colleges have a presence on LinkedIn, but roughly 200 are being added each week, Braswell said.

LinkedIn hopes teachers, parents, counselors and family friends will help in guiding students through the process of setting up an account.

"Colleges and counselors could help get the word out," Altimeter's Li said. The University Pages and new age policy might not lead to big gains in the immediate future but the site could benefit down the road, she said.

In a year or two, some high schools could make it a requirement for college-bound students to sign up on the site, Li said.

But LinkedIn must be careful not to add more stress to a process that's highly commercialized in some countries, and complicated by guidebooks and rankings, said Gartner's Blau. Students don't need any more pressure, he said, but having another resource could be a good thing.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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