What Your LinkedIn Member Number Means (and How to Find It)
A Journey Down the LinkedIn Member ID Rabbit Hole
In certain social networking circles, a low LinkedIn member number gave the user nerdy street cred. You were legit. You were an early adopter on the leading edge. However, as I type this, I am just now realizing that, come this December, I will have been a LinkedIn member for — gasp — two decades. I am CEO of the technology-focused retained executive search firm The Good Search and lead Intellerati, our research practice as well. I am all about investigating things — unstoppably curious — which explains my journey down the LinkedIn member number rabbit hole.
The Scavenger Hunt for Your LinkedIn Member ID
While a LinkedIn Member ID scavenger hunt might be fun for those of us who remember when there wasn’t a LinkedIn, it also suggests that we’ve been around. In fact, for quite some time. In other words, this little game of mine is pretty irrelevant for members under the age of 40. Sure, you might be curious where your membership number falls in the LinkedIn ID continuum between the first and the 850 millionth LinkedIn member.
But my god, my daughter was 10 when I joined LinkedIn. She is now an MD.
That realization was existential. My mind was blown. But then I read what a commenter shared on an earlier version of this post. I learned that 1. I may be a much earlier adopter than I’d imagined and 2. we now have a mystery to solve!
While LinkedIn Member IDs remains a mystery, here’s what we know so far.
LinkedIn Member numbers are sequential*
* We think.
Early adopters helped shape what LinkedIn is today. The business social network relied on us to provide feedback about product deficiencies and, as we invested in premium licenses, to cover the cost of the product’s research and development.
So, when it comes to LinkedIn, how early an adopter are you and what do you make of this game? Because LinkedIn seems to number its users sequentially, the lower your member number, the longer you’ve called LinkedIn your business networking home. As Intellerati’s founder, my LinkedIn number is almost unbelievably low.
What Does a Low LinkedIn Member ID Mean?
Researchers who have studied technology adoption have found certain personality traits associated with when a person starts using a technology. Marketing firms, in turn, use those adoption personas to target specific kinds of potential users. (For more, see “The 5 Customer Segments of Technology Adoption“.)
A super-low LinkedIn member number — within the first 2.5% of total current members — suggests you are an innovator. Innovators are risk-takers or risk-tolerant. (My LinkedIn Member Number puts me comfortably in this group.)
LinkedIn Early Adopters
A low LinkedIn member number — from 2.5% to 13.5% of current members — makes you an early adopter and, possibly, an opinion leader. Early adopters often command attention and respect. They spread new ideas from innovators to the rest of the population. The early adopters of LinkedIn helped it to scale.
So How Do You Find Your LinkedIn Member Number?
To determine how you stack up, you first need to locate your member number. However, LinkedIn does not make it easy.
LinkedIn Member Number Shell Game
Over the years, LinkedIn has moved where it displays your member number around — so much so that it resembles a kind of shell game. Only now, when you peer under each shell, your member number is nowhere to be found on the visible page. How do you find your LinkedIn member number, particularly if your LinkedIn profile sports a vanity URL?
Where not to look for your LinkedIn Member Number
The web address for my LinkedIn profile is personalized with my name in the URL kristabradford. In other words, it has the LinkedIn domain “linkedin.com/in/” followed by my name kristabradford as the web address. That’s my public profile URL. But that wasn’t always the case.
Years before, when I clicked on the “View Full Profile” link, I used to be taken to a page that had my member number in the URL. My member number used to be visible in the web address of my profile page after “www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=” as shown in the screenshot below. But no more.
LinkedIn Number Hide ‘n’ Seek
LinkedIn has stopped displaying your member number in the URL of your profile when you are logged in. (At least, that’s what I’ve observed when I am logged in. Please let me know in the comments if your user experience is different.) Instead, LinkedIn has moved member numbers into the very code for the page.
How to Uncover Your LinkedIn Member Number
In Google Chrome, here’s how you find your LinkedIn Member Number:
- Select View in the Chrome Menu
- Select Developer in the dropdown menu
- Select View Source.
On the Source Code Page, Find your Member ID:
- Check the Line Wrap box in the upper left corner of the Source Code page. (It makes it easier to view the code when you don’t have to scroll endlessly to the right.
- Type Control+F in Windows or Command+F on a Mac to open the Find function.
- In the Inspect window, search for “member” (without the quotes)
- The number after “member:” is your LinkedIn Member number.
How to find the date you joined LinkedIn
It is a little easier to find the exact date that you joined LinkedIn.
- Click on the “Me” menu, which is the one with your photo in the upper right corner
- Select “Settings & Privacy” in the drop-down.
- Select “Data Privacy” in the left sidebar
Now select ‘Manage your data and activity,’ and you’ll be greeted by a list of important dates in your LinkedIn history. If you scroll to the last entry, you’ll find the date ‘You joined LinkedIn.’
Our Latest Update and a Mystery to Solve
My member ID is 59572. If LinkedIn counted its members sequentially, I would be the 59,572nd member to sign up for LinkedIn. Yet the discussion thread below has introduced an intriguing mystery that I’m hoping readers here can help solve.
A commenter below has revealed that I may belong to a much smaller group of ultra-early adopters. (Thank you, Jennifer Clark.) If this blog post on the History of LinkedIn is accurate, I was among the first 245 members to join which seems impossible — since LinkedIn now consists of some 850+million members. I may be on the cutting edge but doubt I was in that small a group. That’s virtually friends and family.
So how do we go from my being the 59,327th member (my LinkedIn ID) to being 245th -ish person to join LinkedIn? While LinkedIn may still count up for each new member, they may have rejiggered the starting number. If the refactoring was simple addition, it appears they added a little more than 59,327 thousand to my actual member number of ~245.
If that additional ~59,327 thousand really is correct, why so random a number?
I joined LinkedIn on Dec. 10, 2003. For context, LinkedIn was founded on Dec. 28, 2002. As of 2022, LinkedIn claims to have 850 million total users. When I divide my 59,327 member ID by the current total number of members, I would be counted among the first .00007% of its current membership, if that ID were an accurate reflection. If I use the 245 number, the quotient is subatomically minute: 0.000000288235294 of the total number of members. I don’t think that’s what LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman had in mind.
Might he know the answer?
The Higher Your Number, The Younger You Are
If your number isn’t that low, of course, that’s perfectly okay. That simply means you weren’t around when LinkedIn took off. You’re an early adopter of more recent things. You may have been an early adopter of MySpace (2003), Facebook (2004), Instagram (2010), Snapchat (2011), or even TikTok (2016).
While I associate LinkedIn with my work, my guilty pleasure today is TikTok. (And yes, I have privacy settings locked down.) The app launched just when things got weird in the US and then COVID happened. It is how I unwind in the evening — like literally every evening. It has helped me keep my sanity through the pandemic while some of those among us appear to be losing their minds.
Who Among Us Can Solve the LinkedIn # Mystery?
I invite you to help solve the mystery of the LinkedIn member number rejiggering. If you know an early LinkedIn member, perhaps they might help us do the math to determine our underlying real number so we can state clearly, “I was LinkedIn member # “<actual number goes here>. Welcome to the rabbit hole . . .
The Mystery of the LinkedIn Member Number
- Was our LinkedIn Member ID rejiggered?
- If so, what relationship does our refactored LinkedIn Member ID have with our actual LinkedIn number if we were counting up from one from the very first member?
- How do we do the math to determine our real LinkedIn Member Number so that we can say, “I was LinkedIn member # <actual number goes here>”?
Share Your Start Date, Member ID, and Clues to Solve the Mystery
I invite you to share your LinkedIn member ID the date you joined, and any clues to help solve figure out what our actual member number is counting up from the first member. Welcome to the rabbit hole . . .
To Get Us Started:
Krista Bradford: Dec. 10, 2003; LinkedIn Member ID 59572. To solve the mystery, I’d reach out to an early LinkedIn Member or say, the founder, Reid Hoffman. Thus far, I’ve told you everything I know.