Are LinkedIn Messages Private? – CV Nation

Are LinkedIn Messages Private? LinkedIn Advice

Posted by Phillip Jewell on

LinkedIn is one of the most effective networking platforms for professionals. Huge numbers of recruiters scour LinkedIn every day to locate people who are capable of filling roles and making an impact at their company. Many people don’t get the best out of LinkedIn because they’re unsure about certain aspects of the platform. One question we regularly get asked by those who are new to LinkedIn is ‘are LinkedIn messages private?’

LinkedIn messages are completely private. Only the sender and recipient can read messages sent on LinkedIn. There are four types of LinkedIn messages: Direct Messages, InMail, Sponsored Messaging, and Open Profile Messages. All four forms of messaging on LinkedIn are private cannot be received or opened by anyone other than the recipient.

Types of LinkedIn Messages

Direct Messages

Direct Messages can be sent between LinkedIn users who are connected with each other. Both Basic and Premium users have access to this messaging feature, which is completely private.

Open Profile Messages

Open Profile Messages enable LinkedIn users to contact Premium members who have enabled Open Profile, whether or not they are connected to the sender. Anyone can send a message to those who have enabled this feature – both Basic and Premium users. All Open Profile Messages are private.


InMail is a feature of LinkedIn that allows Premium users to send messages to people who you are not connected with. The character count in these messages is limited to 1,900, including email signatures.

InMail messages are always private. Only the recipient can receive and open InMail messages.

Sponsored Messaging

Sponsored Messaging is an ad feature that enables users to send native ads to targeted audiences on LinkedIn. This feature is usually used by businesses and entrepreneurs to build their client list. Sponsored Messages include image banners, customised call-to-action buttons and optional lead generation forms.

Like the other messaging options on LinkedIn, sponsored messages are private.

Other Types of LinkedIn Messages

LinkedIn Group Messages

The manager of groups on LinkedIn can send direct messages to members of the group, which are 100% private.

Group owners and managers also have the option to ‘start a conversation’ with group members. In each conversation, up to 20 members can be mentioned. Messages posted in this ‘conversation’ are not completely private as other members who have been mentioned are able to view the conversation’s content.

Multiple Recipient Messages

LinkedIn messages can be sent to multiple recipients. By their very nature, these messages are not completely private as up to 50 people can be added to a single message. However, no one will see or receive your multiple recipient message, except the specified recipients.

Can Someone See if You Have Read Their LinkedIn Message?

As with all forms of social media, privacy is an important issue. Not only do many LinkedIn users want to maintain the privacy of their profile, but they also want to ensure that contact with their connections is private.

Does LinkedIn tell people when you have read their messages? Does LinkedIn tell you when your connections have read your messages?

When a LinkedIn message has been read, LinkedIn provides indicators to inform the sender that you have successfully seen the message.

These ‘read receipts’, similar to the ones used on Facebook, confirm to the sender that you have received their message. Typing indicators also appear in messages when users are typing a message.

While these indicators are turned on by default, they can be disabled very easily.

To turn off these indicators, click the ‘Me’ icon at the top of your LinkedIn profile. Then click ‘Settings & Privacy’, followed by ‘Communications’. Finally, navigate to the ‘Preferences’ section and click ‘Change’, which you will find next to ‘Read Receipts and Typing Indicators’. Here, select the ‘Off’ option.

Once you have disabled this feature, your connections will not know when you have read their messages or when you are typing a message.

How to Send Messages to Connections on LinkedIn

Basic LinkedIn messages can be sent to connections from three sections of the platform: the messaging page, the connections page and the recipient’s profile page.

The process couldn’t be simpler.

Sending messages from the messaging page – To send messages from the messaging page, simply click ‘Messaging’ at the top of the LinkedIn homepage, then click ‘Compose’.

Sending messages from the connections section – If you want to send messages from the connections section, click ‘My Network’ at the top of the page and then click ‘Connections’. Here you will see a list of your connections. Locate your intended recipient and click ‘Message’, which will be positioned next to their name.

Sending messages from the intended recipient’s profile – Alternatively, you can click on the profile of your intended recipient, before clicking ‘Message’.


There are various forms of messaging on LinkedIn, differing for Basic and Premium users, and they are all private. Only the sender and recipient can view messages distributed on LinkedIn.

Want to optimise your LinkedIn profile? Check out our 15 LinkedIn headline examples for inspiration. Don't forget to ensure your LinkedIn profile is consistent with your CV. For help with your CV, view our CV writing services.

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