LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD.DL) announced plans recently to offer recent college graduates lower pricing for a stripped-down version of its premium services.
Premium subscriptions give customers enhanced tools that aid in a job search, including putting their application at the top of the pile. The service, which usually costs $20 a month, accounts for around 20% of the job-related social media website's revenues.
"Is getting an incrementally larger number of recent college grads a short-term play to grow users and make a little more money, or is this a longer-term thing getting people thinking, When I need to look for a job, go to LinkedIn," asked host Jason Hellmann on Business Take, the show that gives you the Foolish perspective on the most important business stories of the week.
"It's trying to make LinkedIn the platform where young people go to look for jobs," answered panelist Daniel Kline.
The cheaper premium services offered to new graduates will not give them access to all of the services you get for paying full price. The key feature being left out is the ability to directly contact someone who is not in your network. LinkedIn in general only allows communication with people who have a direct connection to you. Paying the full price for premium theoretically allows a user to introduce him or herself to contacts who may be hiring, though the benefits of unsolicited contacts are dubious.
"I think they could tweak the features of this offer," panelist Jake Mann said. "A larger profile picture and a bit more visibility on Google, is good but you still can't message anyone you want through the platform."
Kline disagreed with the overall value proposition offered by Linkedin and its value as a service in general.
"It feels like a mob hit to me. It's shakedown money," he said. "You sort of have to pay to be there if you're looking for a job even if it doesn't do anything for you. This seems like a way to entice a younger generation by offering them a way to pay less protection money."
Hellmann disagreed saying that he gets LinkedIn Mail from people who have paid to message him. He is not a subscriber to any premium services.
"I think this is a play to make LinkedIn the network to use when you're trying to find a new job," he added.
Do you pay for LinkedIn premium services? Would a lower price point make it appealing for you? Watch the video for the full story then leave your comments below.