LinkedIn to Add Photos

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linkedin_photos.jpgSometimes it pays to be up and working at 2:30 am, because just a few minutes ago, LinkedIn’s Senior Product Director Adam Nash announced on the LinkedIn blog that starting today Friday, LinkedIn users will be able to add pictures to their profile.

According to Nash:

Adding a profile photo is one of the most commonly requested features for the LinkedIn profile, primarily because many people (like me) tend to recognize their colleagues and classmates more reliably by face than by name. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and with this feature we hope to make it easier for people to form richer professional connections online.

They’ve obviously put some thought into this one. A few key features:

  • You can only post one photo. It’s intended to help people identify and relate to each other, not be a photo sharing site.
  • You can control the privacy. Make it visible to everyone, just your network, just your connections, or “No One”. I’m not sure I get the need for that last option, though — if it’s not going to be visible to anybody, wouldn’t it be easier to just not upload a photo?
  • Online cropping tool. I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like the photos may have to be square. Or at least maybe a standardized aspect ratio. Anyway, LinkedIn has included a cropping tool that you can use to crop your uploaded photo to their standard.
  • Flagging option. They learned their lesson from Answers — not everyone is always ethical or appropriate in their use of the tool. You can flag photos as inappropriate, copyrighted material, an advertisement or misrepresentation.

In another change of pace, LinkedIn also announced this to the media. It’s already been covered in:

I’m really glad to see this. As we quoted Esther Dyson in Chapter 15 of The Virtual Handshake:

Photos are what make those sites feel like real communities, and they are an endlessly compelling medium, even when they depict people you don’t know and will never meet face to face.

I strongly recommend getting a professional quality headshot done if you don’t have one. They’re not nearly as expensive as they once were. I recommend, which gives you a session with a local photographer and 12 digital shots for just $149, and you own the copyright (be careful about using portrait studios — while the prices are low, they usually retain the copyright and the images are not licensed for commercial use).

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  1. I’m with you about the ‘not uploading’ if you don’t want anyone to see it. Perhaps they should say that only true photos of the members are to be used – the Avatars that some use for various social networks certainly leave you wondering sometimes….

  2. It’s about time LinkedIn offers this. It’s hard to stay connected if you don’t remember what the person you’re connected to looks like. Hopefully they’ll add the ability to create a full vcf or some other robust contact card. They should deepen their connection with Plaxo to leverage both companies.

  3. I feel it is a matter of choice whether to upload photo or keep ones identity confidential. But I would definitely would like to know whom I am connected with and not avatars

  4. I need to put a face to a name. I have a terrible time with names. It’s about time they did this. Now maybe I can remember who I’m sending a message to.

  5. There is some tool that needs to be developed that simultaneously changes your photo on all of the systems that you subscribe to. I have photos of myself from a variety of eras sprinkled throughout the net and wish that I could be more in control of that piece of things.

  6. Hi,

    I really like it. Great cropping tool. Could you please tell me which API or tool you are using for the resize and cropping. The UI is fantastic! Thanks.

  7. LinkedIn photo resolution is very poor. I uploaded the same profile picture to LinkedIn & Facebook and what a difference!! Not sure if this is by design but being a professional portal, I expect a high quality picture display (especially if you make all the effort to enagage a professional just for the purpose).

  8. Why are millions of supposedly smart professional people posting their photos online? Don’t they know their are lots of potential negtives of doing so. There are obvious reason why not to but there are also infinite unknowns. The world is has 7 billion people in it. Obviously most people don’t understand human behavior/psychology and the world in general.

    By the way, if you see someone’s photo how do you know if it’s in fact real? If it is real what does this have to do with the person’s ability?

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