I have a lot of connections on LinkedIn. In fact, I’ve been told that I’m a “LION”, which apparently stands for “LinkedIn Open Networker”. Whatever. My question: is there a limit on how many connections I can have?
LinkedIn presents the same dilemma that every social network does, which is whether it’s better to have a large social network of people who are lose connections, or a small social network of people that you know well. All being equal, it’s better to keep your network small, which is what networks like LinkedIn recommend, but the dilemma is that it’s not all equal. In fact, if your goal with being on a social network is to gain access to as many people as possible, then there’s a strong incentive to connect to as many people as possible!
In fact, let’s do the math. The average LinkedIn user has around 500 connections according to various sources. Let’s assume 75% of those are new to your network each time, which means that each person you add to your network gives you access to around 380 new people. But each of those has that 500 connections too, so at second level, that’s 380*380 or 144,400 second level connections per person you add, on average. So if you follow LinkedIn’s recommendation and have the minimal number of connections, you could be missing out on access to millions of people!
And yet… and yet LinkedIn still wants you to minimize your network, as explained in its User Agreement, wherein it states that you should not “invite people you do not know to join your network”. Rather a dilemma, really. And then there’s this email which you can get:
In the letter you can see that the limit is 30,000 connections. Which is a whole lotta people, really, but if the average number of connections is 500, well, that gives you access to tens of millions of people.
There is nonetheless a limit, as you can see. So it’s good to keep that in mind as you do continue to grow your LinkedIn connection network. And when you do want to check exactly how many links you have, simply choose “Connections” from the “My Network” option on the top menu. It’ll show you right by the top graphic:
You can see I also exceed the 500 connection average with my 3582 connections.
Hope that helps you use LinkedIn wisely.