Yes, LinkedIn allows users to send private messages to connect and communicate with other members on the platform. LinkedIn provides a messaging system that enables users to send private messages that are visible only between the sender and recipient.
Who can send and receive private messages on LinkedIn?
Any LinkedIn member with a full profile can send and receive private messages. However, there are some limitations:
- You can only message your 1st-degree connections – people you are directly connected to on LinkedIn.
- You cannot message 2nd or 3rd-degree connections unless you upgrade to LinkedIn Premium.
- You cannot message people who are not connected to you in any way.
So in summary, the ability to privately message other members is limited to direct connections only on the free LinkedIn account.
How to send a private message on LinkedIn
Sending a private message on LinkedIn is easy. Follow these simple steps:
- Go to the profile of the connection you want to message.
- Look for the “Message” button on their profile under their name and headline.
- Click on “Message” – this will open up a messaging window.
- Type your message in the text box provided.
- You can add attachments like images or documents if needed.
- Click the “Send” button when ready to deliver your message.
The recipient will be notified of your message and can reply back to you directly in the messaging thread.
Where do I see private messages on LinkedIn?
All your incoming and outgoing private conversations are accessible in the LinkedIn messaging section. To view your messages:
- Click on the chat bubble icon on the top navigation bar.
- This will open up the “Messaging” page with all your message threads.
- Click on any conversation to view the full message history with a connection.
You will also get email and in-app notifications when you receive a new private message from a connection.
Key benefits of private messaging on LinkedIn
Private messaging allows for more intimate, detailed communication with your connections compared to public posts and comments. Here are some of the benefits:
- Have private, one-on-one conversations to build deeper relationships.
- Discuss confidential work matters securely.
- Send information and documents not suitable for public posts.
- Follow up after connecting to keep the relationship active.
- Communicate without worrying about others seeing the conversation.
- Establish rapport through casual messaging before progressing to business.
LinkedIn messaging etiquette
When messaging your connections on LinkedIn, follow some basic etiquette guidelines:
- Personalize each message with the recipient’s name.
- Have a clear, specific purpose for messaging – don’t message randomly.
- Introduce yourself if you are messaging someone new.
- Be respectful and professional always.
- Avoid lengthy messages – be concise and clear.
- Do not overmessage – avoid spamming connections.
- Reply promptly when you receive a message.
- Adjust your tone and language based on your relationship.
- Do not share confidential information carelessly.
- Obtain permission before sending attachments.
Tips for effective LinkedIn messaging
Follow these tips to get the most out of LinkedIn’s messaging capabilities:
- Personalize messages with each recipient’s name and some context.
- Keep your messages short, specific and thoughtful.
- Ask open-ended questions to spark conversation.
- Reply to messages promptly, even if briefly, to maintain the flow.
- Adjust tone for each relationship – friendly for close connections vs. formal for new ones.
- Follow up if you don’t receive a response after a few days.
- Avoid using messaging as a sales channel.
- Focus on providing value through your messages, not just taking value.
- Use messaging to coordinate meetings and build relationships offline.
Limitations of LinkedIn messaging
While LinkedIn messaging can be very useful, it does have some restrictions:
- Cannot message people outside your 1st-degree network without Premium account.
- No way to organize individual messages into folders.
- No option to retract a sent message.
- Cannot message groups or participate in group messaging threads.
- Character limits on messages.
- Attachments limited to 100MB.
- No built-in video, audio or gif capabilities.
- Mobile app lacks some messaging features available on desktop.
LinkedIn messaging vs. InMail
LinkedIn messaging differs from InMail, which allows you to contact anyone on LinkedIn, even people outside your network. Key differences:
- InMail costs money; messaging is free.
- InMail has character limits; messaging doesn’t.
- InMail displays branded message templates; messaging has no templates.
- Messaging conversations are ongoing threads; InMails are single messages.
- InMail open/response rates are shown; messaging lacks this tracking.
For most regular communication needs, LinkedIn’s free messaging delivers the necessary capabilities. But InMail may be worth the money when trying to contact influential people outside your existing network.
Alternative messaging options
If LinkedIn messaging has too many limitations, there are some alternatives to consider:
- Email – No character limits, ideal for long messages and attachments.
- Phone/text – More immediate back-and-forth communication.
- WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger – Offers more features and flexibility.
- Google Hangouts, Skype – Good options for group messaging and video chats.
- Slack, Microsoft Teams – Great for team collaboration and communication.
The right messaging platform depends on your specific needs and preferences. Integrating multiple options can give you the most coverage and capabilities.
Can messages be deleted on LinkedIn?
Unfortunately, LinkedIn does not currently allow users to delete messages after they have been sent. Once a message is sent, there is no way to remove or delete it from the conversation thread.
Some ways to manage unwanted messages include:
- Be careful and deliberate before sending any message.
- You can block a contact to avoid further messaging.
- Ask the recipient to please ignore the message you want removed.
- Report any harassment or abuse to LinkedIn for action.
Overall, LinkedIn messaging lacks some key features compared to other platforms. The inability to recall or delete messages is one major shortcoming.
Can LinkedIn messages be traced?
LinkedIn messages cannot be traced or tracked in the way an email can. There are no “read receipts” or open tracking like email has. However, some aspects of LinkedIn messages can be traced:
- You can see when a contact was last active on LinkedIn’s messaging feature.
- LinkedIn shows when a contact has viewed your profile.
- Paid LinkedIn accounts provide statistics on InMail open and response rates.
- Your messages are visible to you and the recipient in your conversation history.
But overall, LinkedIn messaging does not allow open tracking or tracing in the way regular email does. Messages essentially disappear once sent, with limited ability to monitor if the recipient has viewed, opened or traced them in any way.
Final thoughts on private messaging
LinkedIn private messaging provides a simple way to communicate one-on-one with your professional connections on the platform. While lacking some features, it serves the basic need for private conversations and relationship building.
Remember to use messaging selectively, personalize your communication, and follow proper professional etiquette. With appropriate use, private messaging can help strengthen your LinkedIn network and advance your career.