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Aug 20, 2013 09:49 AM EDT

LinkedIn Reduces Age Limit to 14 in US; Introduces ‘University Pages’ To Help Teens with College Hunt

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In an attempt to attract more users, especially teens, LinkedIn has drastically dropped its age limit to 14 in the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, Australia and South Korea.

The new age limits will be applicable from Sept. 12, 2013. The Silicon Valley company has tightened its privacy settings for users below 18 to protect their personal information, such as birth date, profiles and contact list.

The minimum age requirement in countries such as Netherlands and China is 16 and 18 respectively. New users in the other countries will have to be 13 years or older to create an account.

Along with the change in the age limit, the professional social networking website has also launched a new product called University Pages that allows students to connect and explore career opportunities. So far, about 200 schools have signed up including Boston University, Boston College, Harvard, MIT, Babson, Bentley, Brandeis, Tufts, Northeastern, Wellesley and Hult International School of Business.

"Smart, ambitious students are already thinking about their futures when they step foot into high school - where they want to go to college, what they want to study, where they want to live and work," said Eric Heath, LinkedIn's policy director . "We want to encourage these students to leverage the insights and connections of the millions of successful professionals on LinkedIn, so they can make the most informed decisions and start their careers off right."

As students are growing more confident and ambitious, network officials are hoping that this new product will help college bound teenagers.

"We believe University Pages will be especially valuable for students making their first, big decision about where to attend college," said Christina Allen, director of product management at LinkedIn.

University Pages will allow students to receive updates from their respective college campuses; trace the careers of alumni including the majors they chose in school and companies they worked in or are currently working for; seek information on colleges abroad and career paths and ask questions of faculty, staff, alumni and students to know more about a school's culture and strengths.

Plus, it will also have a separate Notable Alumni tab that will give people access to information about the schools attended by prominent business leaders.

"We're trying to provide real value for prospective students," said Allen.

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