Professional networking site LinkedIn has announced plans to lower its minimum age requirements as it seeks to expand its reach.
The website is relaxing its age limit to 14-year-olds in the US and 13-year-olds in most of the rest of the world, including the UK, as it launches a new feature called University Pages.
LinkedIn, which currently has 238 million, said users under 18 will have different default settings in place to protect their private information, including hiding their birth date and eliminating the profiles from the public search.
Writing on the company's blog, policy director Eric Heath, said students needed more information about potential places to study
"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," he said
"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."
LinkedIn, which is growing at two users per second, said the new age limits will take effect from 12 September.
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