In other words, LinkedIn wants to be the new social network for teens, except in China where the age limit is 18.
That’s not to say that LinkedIn is changing its mission and wants to become the next Facebook. It’s just trying to nab students the instant they think about their careers.
As LinkedIn’s top privacy exec, Eric Heath, explained in a blog post:
“Smart, ambitious students are already thinking about their futures when they step foot into high school — where they want to go to college, what they want to study, where they want to live and work. We want to encourage these students to leverage the insights and connections of the millions of successful professionals on LinkedIn, so they can make the most informed decisions and start their careers off right.”
A kid’s profile won’t have the same settings as an adult’s profile, LinkedIn said, to protect them from “unwanted communications.” LinkedIn has, for instance, a notorious prostitution problem which it’s trying to eliminate.
The profile won’t show things like the kid’s birthdate, picture, title, other essentials and the profile won’t be searchable in Google, either.
Instead, LinkedIn sees itself as becoming a resource for finding internships and mentors, and, in the process, creating life-long users from a generation raised on social medial.