Almost every day, and sometimes multiple times per day, I receive spam messages over LinkedIn. They comes in all shapes and sizes — usually, annoying “offers” and “requests” arrive unannounced in my inbox, but there’s also a ton of comment spam on my posts as well.
This was not always true, even just six or eight months ago. I used to receive legitimate inquiries about articles, nice missives from public relations representatives, and a note from an occasional long-lost friend who found me online.
Lately, it has become such a problem that I’m starting to wonder if LinkedIn has lost some value and purpose.
If you’re keeping track: I love to hate Twitter but still use it more than other social media platforms. Next is LinkedIn, which has some wonderful business benefits and features for making connections. Somewhere down the line is Facebook, which is quite handy for Groups and staying connected with colleagues (although I don’t post anything that often). And I’m starting to warm up to TikTok slowly but surely, especially when it comes to watching helpful how-to clips.
On LinkedIn, I used to love chatting and reaching out to folks, since it is so easy to find business contacts. The very nature of this platform, which is all about business connection, is one where anyone can find contacts and reach out, even if they have to pay extra to do that. The best feature (making connections) might be creating a messaging nightmare.
A shift occurred earlier this year when almost every new message involved some dubious ploy. Just this last week, out of 20-30 messages, all of them were scams and none were helpful. The links are spurious, the claims are worse. One “expert” claimed he wants to be a guest on my podcast platform. I don’t have a podcast platform. Many promise an Amazon gift card for giving them “feedback” and a few provide links to crypto sites that are actually fake. It doesn’t help that LinkedIn itself is spamming me, trying to get me to sign up for their “Sales Navigator”— whatever that is.
It’s now gotten to the point where I don’t really check my inbox, and that crack in the foundation could lead to something far worse: I might stop using LinkedIn as much.
If the messaging has become so useless and involves constant unsolicited messages, to the point where they arrive on a daily basis, then it means the social platform is losing some credibility with me. These types of messages do not arrive on Facebook or Instagram that often.
I suspect this is all related to LinkedIn catching on with scammers and spammers, those who have realized how spamming by email doesn’t work. LinkedIn literally makes money when people spam me. The messages also stick out on LinkedIn because there isn’t really a filter (as far as I know). We’ve been conditioned to respond to chat messages on social media platforms, but I’m starting to “uncondition” myself.
The solution, of course, is for LinkedIn itself to crack down on these annoying messages and to stop incentivizing them so often. They need to radically improve their algorithm, as opposed to providing the tools and paid options that allow scammers to send even more of these bogus messages.
It’s obvious to me that the scams must work on LinkedIn, because they have become far more frequent. The scammers are not the brightest bulbs, but they do tend to stick to the techniques that produce the best results.
Let’s just hope LinkedIn figures out how to block these messages and cleans up their messaging system. It’s just a matter of time before we find greener pastures.