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LinkedIn Pulls Intro Service After Only Five Months

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Integrated iPhone email service sparked security concerns after being introduced last October

LinkedIn has announced it is shutting down its Intro mobile service after only five months following concerns that it posed a potential security risk to its users.

In a blog post, the company’s product vice president, Deep Nishar, wrote that Intro, which aimed to integrate LinkedIn with iPhone email accounts, would be shut down on 7 March as part of a drive to simplify the company’s products.

“This increased focus will allow us to commit more resources toward fewer products and continue to deliver even better experiences for our members,” wrote Nishar

The blog post, entitled ‘Doing Fewer Things Better’, stated that this realignment of attentions would allow greater focus within the company, with Nishar hinting at major announcements to come soon, “We are making large, long-term investments on a few big bets, and in order to ensure their success, we need to concentrate on fewer things.”

linkedin-introThe intro and the outro

The service was only announced in October 2013 following LinkedIn’s acquisition of email company Rapportive, and was heralded upon launch as a, ‘rich, interactive, application-like’ way to integrate information from a users’ LinkedIn account into their Apple Mail iPhone service.

However, the service drew concern from security experts concerned about the way Intro routed emails through LinkedIn’s servers in order to provide user information on contacts. The company did not address these concerns in its announcement, instead choosing to focus on how it can adapt the service for possible future use.

“While Intro is going away, we will continue to work on bringing the power of LinkedIn to wherever our members work,” said Nishar. “Email, where the average professional spends more than a quarter of their time, is one of those places, so we’ll continue to look for ways to bring this kind of functionality to our members through existing partnerships.”

LinkedIn has advised existing Intro users to uninstall the service before 7 March to avoid disruption to their Intro-linked email accounts. Members can however choose to continue to use Rapportive, the parent of Intro, a service which integrates LinkedIn with a user’s Gmail account.

LinkedIn has faced several security issues in recent months, as its database of user information makes it a popular target for hackers. Last September, the company was forced to deny allegations it hacked into members’ email accounts and used their personal contact lists to send out promotional messages. It also pressed charges against hackers who used Amazon Web Service servers to access profiles of its users and steal personal information.

The company also used its blog to announce it was also shutting down Slidecast, a service that enables SlideShare members to upload presentations with audio. Slidecast will close on 30 April, but users will be able to download their Slidecasts until that date.

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