LinkedIn announced on Thursday it has taken user photographs out of in-house ads after a wave of complaints and criticism from members and industry observers.
Rolanski said in his blog post on Thursday that since the social ads launched LinkedIn has been getting feedback from users and “we hear you loud and clear.” Rolanski explained that member photos will no longer be used in its social ads because: “The trust of our members is central to what we do, and we always aim for clarity, consistency, and member control in all matters related to privacy and data. “
Rolanski conceded that LinkedIn could have been more clear and communicated better about its plans for social ads and acknowledged that some LinkedIn members may not be “comfortable with the use of their names and photos associated with those actions used in ads to serve their network.”
The social ads for a company previously showed the pictures of three LinkedIn members at the bottom along with the text “3,579 people follow company xyz on LinkedIn.” Now the ads will not have the photos but instead text that says “3 people in your network follow company xyz on LinkedIn.”
And blogger Steve Woodruff’s seethingly sarcastic post the same week slammed LinkedIn for implementing the change writing: “Apparently, LinkedIn has done us the “favor” of having a default setting whereby our names and photos can be used for third party advertizing. A friend forwarded me this alert (from a friend, from a friend) this morning. Devious. And I expect that you like me don’t want to participate. “
No I don’t… thanks Steve.