LinkedIn has announced that it is to withdraw its controversial Intro system after only being announced five months ago.
The concept of Intro was that injected HTML code into the top of the emails you receive on your iPhone so you could view someone’s LinkedIn profile alongside the message they have sent you.
In a blog titled “doing fewer things better”, LinkedIn’s senior vice president of products and user experience, Deep Nishar, said that as its goal is to provide members with seamless experiences – not just individual products, it has taken a look at its product offerings and made the decision to shut down some services.
Intro will be shut down on March 7th 2014, he said. “While Intro is going away, we will continue to work on bringing the power of LinkedIn to wherever our members work. Email, where the average professional spends more than a quarter of their time, is one of those places, so we’ll continue to look for ways to bring this kind of functionality to our members through existing partnerships.
“Users of Intro will be able to uninstall it between now and March 7 and switch back to their previous mail accounts. Members can continue to use Rapportive, which brings the power of LinkedIn to Gmail.”
Nishar also said that it is shutting down Slidecast and support for the LinkedIn app for iPad on iOS versions older than 6.0 from February 18th. “This follows our decision to stop supporting the LinkedIn mobile app for iOS versions older than 6.0 and Android versions older than 3.0 late last year. This increased focus will allow us to commit more resources toward fewer products and continue to deliver even better experiences for our members,” he said.
Commenting, security blogger Graham Cluley said that this was “good news” as this service came at a huge cost for privacy as LinkedIn required you to change the settings of your iPhone so that rather than it connecting to your email provider’s servers (Gmail, Yahoo, etc) it would connect via LinkedIn’s proxy server instead, essentially acting as man-in-the-middle for all your email conversations.
“What about the people who sent you email? Their part of the conversation would be going through LinkedIn’s servers too, regardless of whether they liked LinkedIn Intro or thought it was a privacy catastrophe waiting to happen,” he said.
“So I, for one, am happy that the death knell is being rung on LinkedIn Intro. What a terrible idea it was in the first place, and its shutdown can’t come quickly enough in my opinion.”