LinkedIn Removes Introduction Requests to 3rd Degree Connections


Within the last few days, I’ve received a ton of calls and emails from clients and connections wanting to know why they can no longer request an introduction to a 3rd degree connection.

Turns out, when you view a profile of a 3rd degree connection, the Get Introduced link no longer appears on the How You’re Connected section.

LinkedIn Removes 3rd degree introduction requests

I investigated the issue and found that LinkedIn decided to remove this functionality.

Why would LinkedIn do this?

Well, this is what LinkedIn says:

“We’ve recently made a change preventing requests to 3rd+ degree connections, as it created a poor experience which relied on a chain of actions for multiple users in order for two members to be introduced. At this time, we recommend InMails are used to reach out to 3rd degree connections, and if you’d like I’ll be happy to apply a free InMail credit to your account to reach out to Peter.”

I would agree that it wasn’t the most streamlined process. On a number of occasions I forwarded introduction requests to 1st degree connections, hoping they would pass it on to their connection who would then pass it on to the intended party. I honestly have no idea how many of these requests ever made it through.

How Do I Communicate with 3rd Degree Connections?

Just because LinkedIn removed the ability to request introductions to 3rd degree connections doesn’t mean that you cannot communicate with them. There are still ways to reach out to 3rd Degree Connections.

1. Send them a Connection Request. Include a personalized message that states: “We don’t know each other yet but I would like to connect with you because [insert reason]. I hope you will accept this request to connect.” By including a personalized note, the person will be more apt to accept your connection. Once you are 1st degree connections, you can message them normally.

2. Join a Group that your 3rd degree connection is already a member of. Once you are a member of this shared Group, you can go to the Members section of the Group and message your 3rd degree connection directly.

3. Check out your 3rd degree connection’s profile. Do they list their phone number or email in their Summary or within their Experiences? If so, give them a call on the phone or send them an email.

4. Check out how you are connected to your 3rd degree connection. Give a call to your connection and see if they could tell you who connects them to the 3rd degree connection. See if you can get the introduction offline rather than through LinkedIn.

5. You can send an InMail— but this is only available to you if you are a premium member. (Note: Spotlight and Personal Plus plans, although Premium membership levels, do not have the ability to send InMails).

6. Use Open Profile. If you are a premium member and your 3rd degree connection is also a premium member, and you both opted into Open Profile, you can freely send messages to each other.

In conclusion

Are you upset that LinkedIn removed 3rd degree introductions? Do you have any other ways to communicate with a 3rd degree connection? Let me know in the comments. Just scroll down!

LinkedIn Technical Support Response to 3rd Degree Introduction issue

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  1. Donna,

    Nice post, thank you.

    There are a number of features over time they have removed and I don’t understand why. The original “interesting statistics” about companies was a fantastic piece. My hypothesis is that companies were afraid they might be tapped for discrimination. I actually use to refer clients to review that area to see if there was good diversity in the organization and how many years people worked for the firm. Of course, I was promoting it for quite the opposite, to see if they were open to workers over 40, did they promote from within, does it have stability in their workforce etc.

    Another feature I miss involved the Skills & Expertise. Again, I promoted the use of the feature so they could see which skills were being asked for by employers so they could strategically place those most requested first in their resume. Also if they had access to any DOL training programs to consider updated certifications or degree programs that were hot and attainable. Plus to be sure they properly understood what different acronyms were if they were trying to cross over to a different industry.

    Whatever happened to the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? I wonder if there is a way to use LinkedIn to request restoration of some features?

    Thanks again, regards
    Deb Walker, Career Counselor CT DOL

    1. Hi Deb! I absolutely agree with you. I LOVED the company stats and I LOVED the skills page. It is odd how LinkedIn has stripped amazing functionality from it’s core… not sure why and not sure if they will ever bring it back.

      1. I actually inquired when they pulled the company insightful statistics. I was told they were improving it, and it would be out shortly. It took about 7 months before they initiated the company pages, which do not offer anything near as, I’ll use the word-insightful-lol. But now, how to even find a name in the organization that has responsibility to such changes has become very hard. Yet I still have this little voice that says if there is a way to put out the word with other resume writers, career coach/counselors to see if they felt the same, there must be a means to petition features back. Am I dreaming? Or have people become so complacent about constant change that we are no longer phased?

  2. Question,

    On item #1 under “How Do I Communicate with 3rd Degree Connections?” what are you selecting as an option if I haven’t gone to school with the person worked with them, belong to a group or I don’t have an e-mail? Are you suggesting selecting the “Friend” option?

  3. Hi Donna,

    It seems that they have removed the group option in the connection area. I feel that they are forcing the inmail option onto everyone, so annoying.

  4. While I miss the “Get Introduced” feature, what I really miss is seeing the other X# connections between you and the 3rd degree. They give you 3 or so, but I’d at least like to see how else I am connected.


  5. As I network within my industry, I find I often meet 3rd degree connections at events. Of course I have their business card and can reach out directly, but I also want them to see my LiinkedIn posts/updates, which I don’t think they can see as a 3rd degree connection, right? Having no way to officially “connect” is frustrating.

  6. Judy
    If you are in a group with the individual you can send out an invitation directly. Perhaps a industry related group might work. Depending how the person has set their profile, some of them you can actually look at the groups they are in and intentionally join one to be able to send the individual an invitation. You also mentioned having a business card. You can always send out an invitation as “other” and then include the email address on their card.

    1. Thank you Deb, that is very helpful. Will look at the group idea right away. A follow up question… how do I send an invite as “other” when I don’t have any “invite” option to select?

  7. Judy when you pull the InMail menu down and go to “Connect” it asks “how do you know … Donna Marie to connect on LinkedIn
    and you click on whichever dot
    O Colleague
    O Classmate
    O We’ve done business together
    O Friend
    O Other
    O I don’t know Donna Marie
    The first 3 options will ask from where, I don’t know will not let you, Friend or Other will ask for the email address
    So if you have a card-great, if not check and see if they listed an email with their contact information in the profile

  8. I can’t even see how I am connected to a 2nd or 3rd degree member now. I have. premium membership. Did they really take this option away?

  9. How you’re connected feature was really nice, sorry it went away. It would be nice to see how you’re connected to someone at least, without Linkedin providing a way to connect. I agree that’s a burden to expect connections of connections to make a connection for you.But if I personally can see that someone I know WELL has a connection, that’s valuable as I can call the person I know. As in an actual phone call I have to make myself. But without being able to see anything, I now have no idea, so the possible connection is lost. Too bad.

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