LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 750 million members worldwide. As a platform built around making connections and building relationships, LinkedIn offers several communication features to users including direct messaging. With direct messaging, LinkedIn members can initiate private conversations with other members they are connected to on the platform.
A common question many LinkedIn users have is whether there is a cost associated with sending direct messages. The short answer is no – there is no fee or charge to send direct messages to your LinkedIn connections.
Sending Messages is Free for All Users
LinkedIn offers the ability to send direct messages to your 1st degree connections completely free of charge. It does not matter what type of LinkedIn account you have, even the basic free account allows you to message your connections without any limits or fees.
The LinkedIn direct messaging feature is a core part of the platform’s value proposition around relationship building and networking. Putting any payment barrier around messaging would go against LinkedIn’s mission to create economic opportunity for professionals worldwide. Allowing all members to freely communicate helps spur collaboration, new opportunities, and valuable interactions.
No Limits on Number of Messages
In addition to being free, LinkedIn does not limit or throttle the number of direct messages you can send. As long as you have 1st degree connections, you are able to message them as frequently as you want. There are no caps set on daily or monthly message volumes.
Of course, LinkedIn does monitor messaging activity for any abusive behavior like sending unsolicited spam. But typical professional communication patterns will not trigger any restrictions. As a professional platform, the expectation is that members will use good judgment and etiquette when messaging contacts.
Upgrading to Premium Does Not Remove Limits
LinkedIn offers several premium account types that provide additional features like being able to view more profiles, see who has viewed your profile, learn more about page visitors, etc. However, upgrading to a premium paid account does not grant any additional benefits for direct messaging when it comes to number of messages or capabilities.
Since messaging is free for all users already, paying for a premium account does not “unlock” any restrictions or expand functionality here. Premium accounts allow you to be more visible and gather more insights about page visitors – but messaging works the same across free and paid accounts.
How is LinkedIn Messaging Free?
LinkedIn is able to offer free direct messaging by monetizing their platform through other means. Here are some of the ways LinkedIn generates revenue to fund free messaging and other core features:
- Premium subscriptions that provide additional insights beyond the free experience
- Advertising and sponsored content to engage users
- Recruitment tools and job listings that connect talent with opportunity
- Paid partnerships with organizations looking to boost brand and reach
Messaging capabilities are central to achieving LinkedIn’s mission around relationships and community. Keeping it free helps drive engagement across the platform, which then funds monetization opportunities in other areas.
Limits When Messaging Non-Connections
While LinkedIn allows unlimited free messaging between 1st degree connections, there are some limits when messaging members you are not connected to.
To message a non-connection, you must pay for a premium account subscription. This allows you to reach out via the “InMail” messaging feature. An InMail credits system regulates how many of these types of messages you can send.
Premium account holders receive a set number of InMail credits per month. Once the credits are used up, you must wait until the next monthly renewal. Bulk credit packages can also be purchased separately.
This InMail system applies when messaging 2nd and 3rd degree connections, as well as non-connections. It helps protect members from receiving unwanted solicitations from strangers. But normal direct messaging remains unlimited between 1st degree connections.
No Extra Charges for Longer Messages
There is no extra cost or surcharge based on the length of your direct messages. Whether you send a short one line message or a long detailed letter, it is treated the same by LinkedIn’s messaging system.
The only hard limit is that messages may not exceed 10,000 characters in length. But within that size restriction, any message sent to your connections is completely free regardless of word count.
Of course, concise messages tend to get better response rates and engagement. But there are no artificial limits or pricing tiers when it comes to message length on LinkedIn messaging.
Tips for Effective LinkedIn Messaging
Here are some tips to use LinkedIn messaging most effectively:
- Personalize each message – References specifics about the recipient’s experience or interests
- Be clear on your purpose – State intent and objective upfront
- Keep messages focused – Avoid overly broad outreach
- Follow up tactfully – Do not over message if no response
- Watch your tone – Maintain a professional, courteous voice
Messaging thoughtfully and intentionally will lead to more productive conversations and mutually beneficial outcomes. While unlimited free messages can be a powerful tool, be strategic in how you use it.
The Value of Free Messaging Capabilities
In summary, LinkedIn offers users the ability to send direct messages to 1st degree connections completely free of charge and without limits. This messaging capability helps fulfill LinkedIn’s mission to connect professionals worldwide and creates opportunities through relationship building.
As a core part of the platform, keeping messaging free helps drive greater engagement across LinkedIn. With 750 million members globally, the freedom to communicate without fees or limits allows mutually beneficial interactions to thrive at scale.