LinkedIn (LNKD) will open its professional social networking site to college-minded high school students.
It also lowered the minimum age limit for U.S. users to 14 from 18, and to 13 in most other countries, starting Sept. 12.
The new University Pages was announced in a LinkedIn blog post Monday by Christina Allen, the company's director of product management.
"I'm delighted to announce the launch of University Pages on LinkedIn — one cornerstone of our strategy to help students at every critical milestone from campus to fulfilling, successful careers," she wrote.
High school students will be able to "explore schools worldwide, greatly expand their understanding of the careers available, and get a head start on building a network of family and friends to help guide them at every milestone," Allen wrote.
LinkedIn shares were up 2.4% in afternoon trading in the stock market Monday, near 233. That still puts it below the 238.06 buy point it touched on Aug. 12 out of a rare short stroke add-on pattern. The stock has more than doubled this year, and is a longtime IBD Leaderboard member.
University Pages was launched with 200 schools creating LinkedIn pages. The schools include New York University, the University of Michigan and the University of California, San Diego. Over the next few weeks, thousands of more schools will be given access to their University Pages, Allen wrote.
About 30 million of LinkedIn's 240 million members are college students and recent graduates.
In a separate blog post Monday, Eric Heath, director of legal and public policy at LinkedIn, announced the updated terms of service, designed to safeguard student privacy. This includes different default settings "to limit publicly viewable profile information and unwanted communications.
Besides the U.S., the minimum age of 14 also is in place for Canada, Germany, Spain, Australia and South Korea. For users in China, the minimum age requirement will remain at 18, and it will remain 16 in the Netherlands. For all other countries, the minimum age will be 13.
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