LinkedIn recently released an updated version of their iPhone app (version 4), Android app and a new HTML5 website. It’s a nice looking app, and is a great improvement on the previous iPhone version. This has been driven by the mobile usage of their social network which has increased 400% each year. The home screen is divided up into 4 main areas: your profile, updates from your network, groups you have joined and your inbox.

Here’s the launch video showing the features and user interface of the new version.

One drawback is the lack of integration with your iPhone contacts which would be useful. You also can’t see who has looked at your profile as you can on the full website – and lets face it, this is the page most frequently checked by everyone on LinkedIn.

One other important point to keep in mind is that when you connect with someone using the iPhone app, you are not given the opportunity to either specify how you know that person, or to insert a personalised message. The invitation is sent with the boiler plate template wording which says “ XXXX has indicated you are a Friend. I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” This means you can’t indicate whether you worked together, attended the same university previously, or if you met them at a recent conference or through a mutual connection. 

No biggie, right? Well actually it might be. There is a little known limitation within LinkedIn where if 5 people indicate ‘I Don’t Know This Person’, then you will not be able to send any further connection invitations without knowing the email address of the person you are connecting with. There are also a limited (undisclosed) number of invitations you can send as a ‘Friend’:

From the LinkedIn Help Centre: 

You’ve reached the limit of invitations you can send without email addresses to people you’ve identified as a Friend during the invitation process.

So….. using the smartphone app to send connection invitations may push you closer to this mysterious limit and one day you could find you need an email address for any future connections to your profile.

Or your invitation could be rejected using ‘Do Not Know’ (as you are probably not a Friend -with a capital F- of the person you are connecting with) and after 5 strikes, you will be put in LinkedIn time out.

Food for thought.