Clevertim Blog Why do I have to import my Linkedin contacts via a vCard?

Why do I have to import my Linkedin contacts via a vCard?

We only support importing your contacts from Linkedin via a vCard. It is more painful than it should be, as it’s a 2 step process:

  1. Log into linkedin and export your contacts as a local vCard file
  2. Log into Clevertim and import the local vCard file

Why can’t this be done via connecting to Linkedin via their API and importing contacts without the need to save an intermediate file?

And the answer is:

Because Linkedin doesn’t allow it.

When accessing your contacts via the Linkedin API some limitations were put in place by Linkedin. One is: you cannot access your connections’ emails or phone numbers. You can only access a basic profile which only includes: first name, last name, headline and a few other not so important details.

But not emails or phone numbers and Linkedin have done this for privacy reasons. Their main concern is protecting your connections against applications harvesting email addresses and spamming them without your knowledge.

While this is a valid reason, it does make our life and your life more difficult as the only alternative to import your users (including vital information like email addresses, phone numbers, companies they work for, etc.) is to export the contacts via a vCard and import it manually into Clevertim.

It is a shame, we do realize some users will be put off and they’re not going to use the import facility and maybe give up on Clevertim before realizing what it can really do. But we have no other alternative at the moment.
We will be keeping an eye on what Linkedin are doing with their APIs and if they open it up, be sure we’ll be there to implement a better import.

So now that you know, perhaps you’ll be a little bit more patient with this 2-step import process.

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