How To Opt Out of LinkedIn Social Ads



opt outSocial Ads, oh my oh my. LinkedIn what did you do? You made us not trust you. You made us feel like the advertising dollars compromised your position about users. That pretty much sums it up when it spread like wildfire that LinkedIn was allowing our names and photos to be used in third party advertising. YIKES! The ads seemed pretty innocent insomuch as it was your picture with the others following a company on

old LinkedIn social ads

photo credit: LinkedIn Blog

LinkedIn. Did we want everyone in our network to know which companies we followed or was it more that we did not want to be associated with a company that advertised on LinkedIn – as if we supported their ads. It may be more of the latter as if we are “featured” in an ad, then it must mean that we support that ad, right?

LinkedIn Social Ads

Advertising on LinkedIn was a safe bet. Professionals advertising their services to professionals. We, at some point, are all looking for some sort of something to help us and while we prefer to have our network refer a business to us upon our asking, there are times that maybe clicking an ad is faster. It depends upon our urgency. When I was recently searching for youth football cleats, I searched, found out that Nike has definitely monopolized cornered the market on these, found the best price for the sporting goods stores in my area and within a half hour, I was on the road. When we are looking to hire a company or buy something from them with a specific specialization, we are not as apt to just search, click and go/buy. These ads bring awareness but we want referrals. If we see people in our network following a company, it can be construed as a referral. Ennh! (picture the sound in your head, as you probably did before I tried to phonetically sound it out). No, no, we do not want people to think that as just because we are following a company on LinkedIn or anywhere for that matter, it does not always mean that we have used them, support them or want to be a part of their advertising.

The social ads for the advertisers did just that. It sweetened the deal for the advertisers in terms of dollars and while it begs the question why are you following a company on LinkedIn that you would not support, the name given to the ads, Social Ads, answers that question. We want to be social and if we can follow companies, we will do so. It is a part of being social and building our communities. Plus, we are enticed to do so when we are given an opportunity to gain insight into the company by following them. LinkedIn has built a platform for business and professionals. To remain competitive, the offering for company pages with new hires, events, etc  in one condensed area is definitely beneficial and leads us to follow. When LinkedIn introduced us to company follow, it made sense to do so – until they were not as clear as to our inclusion into to third party advertising.

How to Opt Out of LinkedIn Social Ads

LinkedIn did tell us that there were changes coming to their privacy. They did not elaborate and never really said much more until they were hit with very angry users. Saying you are making changes and then never delving into them is a big no-no in social media. Facebook has paved the way for that and we have grown to expect that from them. I always say shock me and do the opposite. Make it an opt out instead of an opt in as we know that us bloggers will jump all over it and bring awareness that it is a manual opt in as opposed to an opt out. When LinkedIn Social Ads were a defaulted opt in, our heads turned faster than when Mike Brady dropped the brief case in court.

1. Click on your name in the upper right hand corner.

2. In the drop down menu, click on Settings.

3. To the left, click on Groups, Companies & Applications.

how to opt out of linkedin social ads

4. Under Privacy Controls, click on Turn on/off data sharing with 3rd party applications.

linkedin privacy control settings5. In the pop-up box, uncheck the box and you are now opted out of the Social Ads and data sharing with 3rd party applications.

opt out of linkedin third party applications


LinkedIn ensured that they heard users loud and clear, that users do come first and have taken responsibility that they did not explain the new privacy setting as well as they could have. Hey, they did try and have changed the way that the ads appear. It is refreshing to see that they did listen to users and made changes very quickly. The new social ads, should you not wish to opt out, will appear as:

linkedin new social ads

photo credit: LinkedIn Blog

  • I read about this in a Google+ post from Mack Collier and as I said there, wow, way to go for the Facebook-ization of other platforms :p

    • It is amazing. I thought that LI wanted users to be comfortable with the ads and be enticed, for those with a business, to advertise however, this move has made may apprehensive to advertise and also to follow a company. Let’s face it, if users knew that by following a company when this was launched that they may be featured in that company’s advertising, no one would have followed. It starts there.

      While the feature in the ad was not awful, it was still assuming that we are supportive of the ad.

  • WOW! You make me understand. You helped me so much. Thanks for sharing tips. It made me understand something, and it is that I never knew before.

  • Carolyn

    Thank you. We new users need this help.

  • raj

    I really like your post.
    Thanks for sharing such great information. It is very informative and provides knowledge of linkedin ads