I just tested and there is no change for me, but maybe it just isn’t rolled out in my account yet. I honestly hope this is just a rumor, though.
Here’s what I know:
If you are NOT a first degree contact with someone and you want to communicate with them with a message, you have to upgrade (it says: “Send an InMail”… which sends you to a page to upgrade).
I’ve always been able to join a Group that that person is in, and the “send Inmail” link changes to “Send a message,” with no upgrade prompt. This has been a great way to communicate with someone quite fast, without upgrade, and without a limit on how many times I can send a message like this (in other words, you only get X inMails a month, or at a time).
If the rumors are true, LinkedIn is changing it so that it will still say “send an inMail.” Apparently, based on what the person reporting it wrote, you can still send them a message, but you have to go the “long way” to do it… you’d have to go to the Group, find the person, and then click the link to message them from there. That might take me a few minutes to do, which is a pain.
I’m not sure if this is really the direction LinkedIn is headed. They’ve reduced the free features a number of times over the last while… I’m guessing they’ve done it as they’ve prepared for their IPO (“hey, look at us, we have a lot of people upgrading!”). I hope it stops, though… if they keep reducing the free features they’ll really prompt people to look at an alternative. Even an 800 pound guerrilla can’t keep pushing and pushing (and disrespecting) and expect to get away with it.
I’ve heard a lot of backlash about this type of behaviour over the years… on that one Discussion talking about this the comments include:
Yep… it’s like what IT people said Microsoft called their bugs… “features.”
This is a SHAMEFUL statement… it’s a shame that users are saying this disrespectful move is TYPICAL. If I owned or worked at LinkedIn this would be a stinging statement (I can’t defend it!)
I really can’t say more than that… :s
Like I said, I hope the rumors are UNTRUE!