LinkedIn Just Removed the Ability to Export YOUR Contacts

Wow.  Just wow.  That’s all I can say.  I’ve talked about how LinkedIn is a Walled Garden before, but they’ve taken it to new heights today.

I woke up this morning and the FullContact customer success team had received reports of this from our vast network of users:




LinkedIn has completely removed the ability to export YOUR contacts into a CSV or VCF file!

Go ahead, visit the export page and see for yourself.

Instead, they direct you to this page that allows you to wait 72 hours to get a complete “archive” download of your data, that doesn’t seem to actually include your contacts!

Let’s be clear – this isn’t just LinkedIn Connections.  This includes contacts you have personally synced and uploaded to LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the roach motel of contacts.  Your contacts check in, but they don’t check out.

This feels like a fundamental violation of LinkedIn’s core values – specifically around “Members First”:

Our focus on our members is the foundation of our business. We’re serious about providing the best possible experience for all LinkedIn users—and we understand that experience starts with us. By acting with integrity and holding ourselves personally accountable for our actions, we show our users and our peers that they can depend on us to keep their information safe and their best interests at heart.

A few phrases stand out here:

  • “Best possible experience for all LinkedIn users”
  • “Depend on us to keep their information safe…”
  • “…their best interests at heart.”

As a LinkedIn user, I don’t want my contact data to be locked away and removed from my control!

This doesn’t feel like the best possible experience, or keeping my information safe, or having my best interests at heart!

I own the contacts and relationships with the people I have met in this life.   Not a damn social network.

I’m sure LinkedIn has “good reasons” to institute this change.  But I’m struggling to see how they can realistically take the stance that any contact information I’ve uploaded, synced and maintained in LinkedIn is now theirs and they have removed the simple mechanism to download this information.

As a user, this just seems wrong.

Do you agree?  If so, take a stand:

1.  Visit this link, scroll to the bottom, and tell them that this help article “isn’t useful”

2.  Share this post on your social network of choice and encourage friends to do the same.

We need to let social networks that this type of behavior is just not OK.

Oh, and if you want a contact management platform that believes your contacts are YOUR contacts, check out our app. We let you export anytime.

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12 thoughts on “LinkedIn Just Removed the Ability to Export YOUR Contacts

  1. These guys are jagoffs (remember the time when the LinkedIn app uploaded your calendar data, including notes, to its own servers without permission?), but who stores contacts in LinkedIn?

  2. I quit LinkedIn after getting fed up with their random messages about “new” jobs that contacts had held for months, a “congratulate your friend on her retirement” message referring to a dear friend who had passed away the previous year, etc. Even after quitting I still get “so and so wants to be part of your LinkedIn network” emails.

  3. This is crazy. how in the world can they think that they can take away our ‘right’ to our own contacts/relationships?! I hope this causes a massive uproar with the 300M users.

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