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LinkedIn asks users to think beyond professional networks

DALLAS (AP) — LinkedIn wants users to step outside their professional silos to boost someone else's career. The company pushed Thursday to narrow a "network gap" that disadvantages people who don't have access to strong professional or alumni networks.

The service says it's not reversing its guidance that LinkedIn users accept connections only from people they know and trust. Instead, it's nudging people to reach outside their traditional networks — such as someone they share a ride with or sit next to on a plane.

It is pitched as an altruistic cause but could indirectly benefit LinkedIn's growth if some users invite others to join the service. LinkedIn owner Microsoft says growth in the business has slowed down over the past year, though revenue has still been increasing more than 20% each quarter.

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