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#LinkedIn Remove #Offline #Contact Functionality

Batten down the hate-hatches - LinkedIn have done something stupid. The business and employment-centric platform rarely fouls up in any major way, but this is a doozy. One of the best features the site offered was the ability to download contact information into offline files so that it could be accessed at any time, but now they've ditched it. Users can still request an archive of their data if they want the same information, but it takes up to 72 for that to process.
There was no official announcement of this change, they just kind of snuck it in under the radar while nobody was paying attention. The news started spreading when somebody on Twitter questioned why the offline download function wasn't working, prompting LinkedIn to admit that they had gotten rid. It's true that their hand was kind of forced, and it would have looked a lot worse if they'd just not responded, but regardless, the Twitter backlash has been brutal.
LinkedIn have since offered a response to reporters, stating that their policy remains the same, it's only the method and time frame which have changed. That's fair enough, but you can also request archive information from Facebook, and that turns up in a matter of minutes, not days. It's difficult to determine exactly why LinkedIn elected to do this, it might have had something to do with data traffic or functionality, but if they haven't directly explained, the reasons are probably either difficult to simplify, or reflect badly on the company at large.

It is, of course, still possible to copy contact information over to offline documents manually and you could easily do it in under 72 hours, it's just a bit of a faff. This reigning in of convince doesn't really put that big of a dent in LinkedIn's quality and this is actually probably the worst they've ever looked in terms of the platform-user relationship, which is saying a lot when you take it in comparison to Facebook or Twitter.

They might well recant the change in the coming weeks if the negative press continues to gather momentum like a rolling boulder made of profanity, capital letters and exclamation points. Either that, or introduce a more refined, faster archiving tool, but LinkedIn aren't the type to ignore user grievances unless they have a very, very good reason.

Update - Due to the increasing outrage about the change, LinkedIn have apologised and brought online contacts back.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#LinkedIn Remove #Offline #Contact Functionality Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, July 25, 2015 Rating: 5

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