I noticed recently that, when I sent out an invitation to connect to someone on LinkedIn, there wasn’t the usual slot for including a free-text note with the invitation. I thought it might be a glitch–and I even considered the possibility that this was only happening to my account because I’m a bit of a networking junkie.
But I noticed on Twitter today that Mark Williams (aka @Mr_LinkedIn) had noticed the same change and followed up on it with LinkedIn’s customer service department. I never assume any site behavior on a freely provided service is permanent, but it is starting to look like this is a deliberate decision and not a transient bug.
If so, it’s an annoying change, though I can see the merits. I’ve made heavy use of the connection message, especially when inviting someone I don’t know all that well–or don’t know at all. A personal message can be what distinguishes a welcome cold call from spam. But I’m guessing that others have abused that capability, filling it with spam or worse. Still, I feel like LinkedIn may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Will follow up if / when I hear more.
Unable to Personalize Invitation MessageWhy can’t I personalize the message in my Invitation?
We are aware of an issue preventing some members from customizing their Invitation messages. There is no need to contact Customer Service as our team is reviewing the issue to determine the best overall solution.
As a temporary workaround, the following message (with your name in the signature) is being sent when you click on the ‘Send Invitation’ button: ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.’
As long as you approve of this message, you may continue to take advantage of this feature. If you prefer a more customized message to be sent, you may delay sending your Invitations until the functionality has been restored.
UPDATE #2: Looks like the problem is resolved.