LinkedIn has brought back the tool that allows users to export their contacts after it was quietly removed on July 23, which sparked outrage among the users of the professional social network.

In place of the export contacts feature, LinkedIn required its users to send in requests for archives containing their own data, which is a process that users will need to wait up to 72 hours to be completed for their own data to be sent to them.

The feature allowed users to export the connections that they have made in LinkedIn through downloading a file in the VCF or CSV format. This file will include all the contacts made through LinkedIn, along with any contacts that the user manually imported into the service.

When the tool was taken down, Linked In users expressed their disappointment as they did not want to have to wait a maximum of three days just to be able to pull their contacts from the social network. The users wanted to be able to export their contacts immediately without having to wait up to 72 hours.

LinkedIn has listened to the complaints of its users and have decided to bring back the export contacts tool, as explained by LinkedIn VP of product management Michael Korcuska in a post on the company's LinkedIn Security blog.

According to Korcuska, LinkedIn decided to shut down the export contacts feature and requested its users to utilize another process for exporting data to be able to address the inappropriate exporting of user data by third-party companies. While the process would be able to address the issue and deliver more data to its users, the timeframe was between 24 hours and 72 hours.

"Since that change, we've heard you loud and clear - that is too long to have to wait for a download of connection information," Korcuska wrote, adding that the export contacts feature has been turned back on.

However, Korcusca added that the tool will be deactivated again in the future, but only once the company is able to decrease the time of its proposed solution to within minutes as opposed to a maximum of 72 hours.

LinkedIn believes that the data of users on the social network is owned by them, and that they should have the means to export their data when they want to. However, the company also has a commitment to ensure that their users have control on the data that are being exported by their connections, with Korcusca stating that LinkedIn will continue to make efforts in the coming weeks and months to eliminate the practice called "scraping."

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Tags: LinkedIn