Overview, Features, Pros, & Cons

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Tech Accessories


Wondering what “private mode” on LinkedIn is, and how it works? You are in luck as this article explains all you need to know about this feature.

To begin this article, I will provide a brief overview of private mode on LinkedIn. Not just that, I will also offer details of how this feature works to help you understand it better.

Furthermore, I will be explaining its features in a section in this article. That’s not all, I will also provide some of the advantages and disadvantages of private mode on LinkedIn.

Finally, in a section towards the end, I will be answering some of your frequently asked questions about this feature. Thus, at the end of this article, you should be well informed about the feature.

What Is Private Mode On LinkedIn: An Overview

What Is Private Mode On LinkedIn: An Overview

By default, you automatically share your profile information with other people when using LinkedIn. Accordingly, when you visit someone’s profile, LinkedIn will notify the person.

Hence, he/she will be able to access your profile information from the “Who viewed your profile” list. 

However, some users on LinkedIn might want to be anonymous for various reasons. That’s why LinkedIn introduced “private mode” in 2015.

This is a feature that gives users the opportunity to browse through anyone’s profile anonymously. Basically, when browsing in private mode, you can view someone’s profile without sharing your information.

Thus, the person whose profile you viewed won’t be able to see your name, picture, job title, and other profile characteristics. You will basically be like a ghost.

This can be helpful if you want to “spy” on someone. Also, it is beneficial if you need certain information from a person’s profile without wanting to be detected.

Now that we have an overview of this LinkedIn feature, I know you must be curious to know how it works. To satisfy your curiosity, read the section below.

How Does Private Mode On LinkedIn Work?

In the previous section, I hinted that private mode on LinkedIn allows you to hide your activity on the platform. Due to this, you can browse and view people’s profiles anonymously.

Hence, when you view someone’s profile in private mode, you will appear as a “LinkedIn Member”. Your name and other information will not be shared with the person whose profile you viewed.

To know how to activate private mode on LinkedIn, follow the instructions available on this link.

However, the full functionality of this feature depends on the type of LinkedIn account you operate.

Basically, as most of us know, you can sign up for a basic LinkedIn account or premium account. Hence, if you use private mode with a basic LinkedIn account, you can view anyone’s profile anonymously.

However, you will not be able to see who views your profile. Meanwhile, with a premium account, you will be able to do both.

Essentially, just like the basic LinkedIn account, you can browse people’s profiles anonymously. However, with the premium account, you will also be able to see the list of people who viewed your profile within the last 90 days.

Regardless, you cannot restrict private mode users or reveal their profile information when they go through your profile. This is due to the fact that LinkedIn has a policy that respects members’ privacy settings.

Thus, even if you operate a premium LinkedIn account, you cannot reveal the profiles of private mode users.

Features Of Private Mode On LinkedIn

Features Of Private Mode On LinkedIn

Now that you know how private mode on LinkedIn works, I will proceed to discuss some of its features in this section.

Available To Both Free And Premium LinkedIn Accounts

Private mode on LinkedIn is free for all users. You don’t have to pay or own a premium account to make use of it.

Hence, even if you have a basic LinkedIn account – which is free – you will still be able to use private mode.

Offers A Profile Viewer Anonymity

The whole point of private mode on LinkedIn is anonymity. Hence, with private mode, you are literally anonymous – no one will know who you are.

Thus, your profile information won’t be revealed including profile picture, name, company, and job title. However, you can choose semi-private mode which only reveals your job title and company name.

Private Mode Shows Your Profile As “LinkedIn Member”

Just to let someone know a private mode user viewed their profile, LinkedIn reveals it as “LinkedIn member”. Besides, if a private mode user also views your profile, the user’s profile will also be presented as a “LinkedIn member”.

Available For Both Recruiters And Job Seekers

Regardless of why you are on LinkedIn, private mode is available for you. Hence, whether you are job hunting or recruiting, you can make use of private mode.

You Can Activate Or Deactivate This LinkedIn Feature Anytime

LinkedIn’s private mode is a feature that you can easily enable or disable at your convenience. Hence, if you wish to go public, you can simply turn it off from your LinkedIn profile settings.

Pros And Cons Of Private Mode On LinkedIn

Private mode on LinkedIn has its advantages as well as disadvantages. Therefore, in this section, we will be learning some of the benefits and disadvantages of this feature.

Pros Of Private Mode On LinkedIn

  1. It allows you to recruit easily and better. Over time, LinkedIn has become one of the major platforms for recruiters worldwide.

    This is because it is basically a giant database of CVs (Curriculum Vitae). As a matter of fact, 87% of recruiters often use LinkedIn to find candidates.

    However, while finding the right candidate, you might not want people to know you looked at their profiles. Thus, using private mode makes you stay anonymous until you find the right person for the job.

  2. It enables you to generate leads. It is no news that LinkedIn is filled with high-level marketing executives, CEOs, and decision-makers.

    Therefore, from their profiles, you can get leads on how to improve your career. Nevertheless, you might not want them to know that you are snooping up on them.

    This might put them off or give them a wrong notion about you even before you get a chance to showcase your ideas. However, since private mode on LinkedIn keeps you anonymous, they don’t have to know.

  3. Competitor research. Oftentimes, you might want to look at your competitor’s profiles to know what they’re doing and how to be better. Well, private mode let’s you access their profile for necessary information while being anonymous.

    Besides, you do not want your competitors to know that you are checking out their progress.

  4. Eliminates unnecessary connections. Since you are anonymous, no one will be able to access your profile or make unnecessary connections.

    That gives you the opportunity to find the right clients for your expertise or service.

Cons Of Private Mode On LinkedIn

  1. Limited network opportunities. Although private mode comes with lots of benefits, it messes up your networking opportunities if used for too long. 

    Moreover, one of the main purposes of LinkedIn is to create a professional network that can be beneficial to your career. So, if you always have your profile in private mode, no one will know who you are or what you can do.

    This in turn significantly limits your networking opportunities.

  2. Affects Account targeting. Private mode on LinkedIn makes account targeting and outreach campaigns futile.

    The reason for this is that browsing in private mode erases all the information from the “Who viewed your profile list”. Therefore, you won’t be able to see who visits your page.

    This means you will not have a chance to see who is interested in your campaigns and outreaches. As a result, you will lose the chance to connect with potential clients. 

  3. Limitation of interactions. Setting your profile to private mode on LinkedIn limits your interaction with prospective clients.

    They would mostly not have any information to reach you on urgent and pressing matters.

  4. It reduces the number of people who views your profile. Keeping your profile in private mode limits the number of people who view your profile.

    Moreover, when you view people’s profiles in public mode, they are notified. Thus, as a response, they will view your profile too.

    However, in private mode, they do not have access to your profile.

  5. Limited functionality. As said earlier, the full functionality of LinkedIn private mode depends on the account type.

    Basically, if you use a basic LinkedIn account with private mode, you will be able to anonymously browse through people’s profiles. However, you will not be able to reveal people who viewed your profile.

    Nevertheless, with a premium LinkedIn account, you will be able to do both. Apparently, this is because premium accounts are for users who pay monthly or yearly subscriptions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Private Mode On LinkedIn

1. What Is Private Mode On LinkedIn?

Private mode is a special feature on LinkedIn that enables users to browse anonymously without being tracked. Basically, the feature hides the profile of the user and reveals it as a “LinkedIn Member”.

2. When Was LinkedIn Private Mode Introduced?

LinkedIn Private Mode was introduced in 2015.

3. Is LinkedIn Private Mode Really Private?

Linkedln private mode is completely private and anonymous. Once you turn on private mode, you will appear as an anonymous “LinkedIn member”.

4. How Do I Activate Private Mode On The LinkedIn App On My Smartphone?

To activate private mode on the Linkedln app on your smartphone, follow these steps below:

1. Open your LinkedIn application.
2. Log into your LinkedIn account and click on your profile picture in the top left corner of the LinkedIn homepage.
3. After that, click on “setting”, which triggers a drop-down menu.
4. Scroll down and select the ‘Visibility’ option from the drop-down menu
5. Then, you click “Profile Viewing Options” to view these three options – Public Mode, Semi-Private Version, and Private Mode.
6. Finally, select the “Private Mode” option.

Once you select this option, no one will be able to see your profile information when you view their profile. Instead, you will appear as a “LinkedIn Member”.

5. Is Private Mode Only For Premium LinkedIn Users?

No, it isn’t. Private mode on LinkedIn is free for all.

In essence, both basic and premium users can take advantage of this feature.

6. How Can I Download The LinkedIn App On My Smartphone?

If you use an Andriod smartphone, you can download the LinkedIn app on the Google Play Store. However, if you use an iPhone, you can download the application via the Apps Store.

7. Can LinkedIn Premium Users Access The Profile Of Private Mode Users?

No, they can’t. LinkedIn respects the privacy of its users.

Hence, even premium LinkedIn users cannot access the profile information of private mode users.

8. How Long Should I Use Private Mode On LinkedIn?

This feature is very useful when you want to carry out tasks like spying on your competitors or recruiting. However, it is advisable that you do not leave it on for too long.

Doing this reduces your chances of networking and limits your ability to interact with users in the LinkedIn community.

9. How Do I Activate LinkedIn Private Mode On The Web?

Below is a step-by-step detail on how you can turn on LinkedIn private mode on the web:

1. Open your web browser and go to Linkedln.com.
2. Sign in to your LinkedIn account – either a premium or basic account – and visit the homepage.
3. Click on the ‘Me’ icon at the top right corner of the homepage.
4. After that, select the ‘Settings & Privacy’ option in the Account menu.
5. When you are on the settings & privacy page, choose ‘Visibility’.
6. After doing that, click on “profile viewing options”.
5. Finally, select “Private Mode” and you are good to go.

10. When Was LinkedIn Released?

LinkedIn began in 2002 in the living room of the co-founder, Reid Hoffman. However, it was officially launched on May 5, 2003.

Private Mode On LinkedIn: My Final Thoughts

Private Mode On LinkedIn: My Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, private mode on LinkedIn is a feature that keeps you anonymous for various purposes. Some of these purposes might be competitor research or to recruit better.

Moreover, this feature is available for both basic and premium LinkedIn accounts. Also, when you use the feature and view someone’s profile, you will appear as a “LinkedIn Member” instead of your profile.

However, as much as private mode on LinkedIn has a lot of benefits, it has a few disadvantages. A few of these disadvantages are the limitation of network opportunities and limited interactions.

Therefore, if you must use this feature, it’s better you use it for a short period of time. Otherwise, you will end up missing out on some opportunities and making networking harder than it needs to be. 

I hope I have been able to successfully explain Private Mode On Linkedln? I also hope that you found this article helpful and easy to read.

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References And Further Reading

  1. helpdeskgeek.com – What is Linkedln Private Mode and How to View Profiles Using It
  2. blog.linkboost.co – What you need to know about Linkedln Private Mode
  3. learn.g2.com – How to Turn on Linkedln Private Mode (+Browse in Secret!)
  4. indiatoday.in – How to browse Linkedln in private mode
  5. expandi.io – Linkedln Private Mode – What Is It and How to Make the Most Out of It
  6. closelyhq.com – Should You Turn Off Linkedln Private Mode? Here’s All You Need To Know
  7. octopuscrm.io – How to Browse Linkedln Profiles Anonymously
  8. zopto.com – Taking Advantage of Linkedln Private Mode
  9. blog.waalaxy.com – How to go private on Linkedln?
  10. blog.linkboost.co – Good or bad? What You Need to Know About Linkedln Private Mode
  11. minitool.com – How to Turn On Linkedln Private Mode to View Profiles in Private [MiniTool News]
  12. networkingtipsforbeginners.com – Should you use public or private mode when using Linkedln?

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