Calendar Icon - Dark X Webflow Template
January 25, 2023
Clock Icon - Dark X Webflow Template
 min read

What do 1st, 2nd, and 3rd connections mean on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has categorized connections into three sets, namely 1st-degree connection, 2nd-degree connection, and 3rd-degree connection or simply 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree connections.

What do 1st, 2nd, and 3rd connections mean on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is like the Broadway of the professional world- it's got a ton of opportunities for entrepreneurs, job seekers, and organizations.

No doubt, it is one of the best social networking platforms for professionals, as you can connect with different individuals with an ideal mindset regarding an industry. 

LinkedIn has categorized connections into three different sets, namely 1st-degree connection, 2nd-degree connection, and 3rd-degree connection or simply 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections. The degree of connection directly impacts how you can interact with a person on LinkedIn. 

Though it is hard to reach new people, the degree of connections makes it easier to build your network in a flash.

In this blog, we'll go over how to connect with people on LinkedIn and what the difference is between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections. By the end of it, you'll be a pro at reaching out to different types of connections.

How do you connect people on LinkedIn?

Connecting with people on LinkedIn can be like trying to make friends at a new school. You have to build your network by using existing or mutual connections like "in" crowd, and then you can reach out to other individuals and hope they'll accept your request. 

Using LinkedIn, you can connect with people using the following ways:

  • By following them.
how do you connect people on Linkedin?
source: LinkedIn
  • By clicking on the “Connect” option in their profile.
How do you connect people on LinkedIn?
source: LinkedIn
  • By searching for people on LinkedIn and then connecting with them.
connecting people by searching on LinkedIn
source: LinkedIn
  • By using the “people, you may know” or “recommended for you” option.
people you may know on LinkedIn
source: LinkedIn

What is difference between LinkedIn Following Vs Connecting?

Using LinkedIn, you can follow or connect with various people, but what is the difference between following someone and connecting with someone? 

A LinkedIn connection is a two-way link where you can send an invitation or connection request to another LinkedIn user, and they accept your request. 

When connected with someone on LinkedIn, both can see each other’s LinkedIn updates, activities, and posts in the feed.

On the other hand, following is a one-way interaction where one user follows another, and the person who follows another user will be able to see their LinkedIn activities and posts in their feed. 

If it would be beneficial for those who receive hundreds of connection requests to get the “Follow” option in your profile, follow the given steps:

  • Go to “Settings” of your LinkedIn profile.
  • In the Privacy tab, you will find a “Who can follow you” option.
  • From there, you can enable “Follow” as a primary action.
what is difference between LinkedIn following and connecting?
source: LinkedIn

Fun fact- The LinkedIn users who follow you have a better chance to see your content in their LinkedIn feed.

What do 1st, 2nd, and 3rd mean on LinkedIn?

When scrolling through different LinkedIn profiles, you might have noticed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd written next to a person’s name. What do these 1st, 2nd, and 3rd mean on LinkedIn? 

1st, 2nd and 3rd are known as degree of connection on LinkedIn. It refers to the level of relationship between two LinkedIn users.

1st-degree connections are people you've directly connected with. 2nd-degree connections are people who are connected to your 1st-degree connections. 3rd-degree connections are people who are connected to your 2nd-degree connections. Having strong connections on LinkedIn can help you expand your professional network, gain access to new opportunities and connect with potential clients.

But, lets take a deep dive on 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree connection on LinkedIn and understand how it functions:

What does 1st degree connection mean on LinkedIn?

1st-degree connections on LinkedIn refer to the people with whom you have a direct connection on LinkedIn, meaning they are directly linked to your profile.

For example, you may have accepted their connection request or invitation, or they may have accepted your invitation. The identification of 1st-degree connection is that you will see 1st written as a symbol next to the name. You can interact with your 1st-degree connections by sending them a LinkedIn message.

One advantage of a 1st-degree connection on LinkedIn is that it becomes effortless to access their emails, phone numbers, websites, and other relevant contact details. To fetch their contact details, you need to click on the “Contact info” option, and you will see the contact details of that connection.

what does 1st connection mean on LinkedIn?
source: LinkedIn

What does 2nd degree connection mean on LinkedIn?

2nd-degree connections refer to users who have a connection with one of your 1st-degree connections 

Basically, these people are connected to someone you know. On their profile, you'll see a little 2nd icon that lets you know they're your 2nd-degree connection. And bonus, you can also see all the people you have in common with them. It's like a little "you both like ice cream" notification on a dating app, but for professional connections.

You cannot directly message your 2nd-degree connection, nor do you get the contact details from their LinkedIn profile. To initiate a conversation with them, first, you need to connect with them by sending them a connection request on LinkedIn. 

But this process is time-consuming, and what if they do not accept your connection request? 

If you want to reach out to your 2nd-degree connection without actually connecting with them on LinkedIn, you can use LinkedIn Inmail.

What does 2nd degree connection mean on LinkedIn?
source: LinkedIn

What does 3rd degree connection mean on LinkedIn?

3rd-degree connection refers to the last in the chain of LinkedIn connections. These are those profiles that are not directly linked with you, but they are connected with your 2nd-degree connections, so you can say they form a part of your network’s network. 

Like 2nd-degree connections, you cannot get in touch with LinkedIn 3rd-degree connections through LinkedIn messages, nor you can fetch their contact information from their profile. 

If you want to reach out to your LinkedIn 3rd-degree connections, you can take the help of LinkedIn Inmail.

what does 3rd degree connection mean on Linkedin?
source: LinkedIn

Can people see if you view their LinkedIn profile?

Yes, When you view someone's LinkedIn profile, they may receive a notification that you have viewed their profile, which means they will know that you have viewed their profile.

You must be wondering, Is it possible for you to view their profile anonymously?

The answer is Yes, you can choose to view LinkedIn profiles in private mode or anonymously, so the person will not know that you have viewed their profile.

Can people see if you view their LinkedIn profile?
source: LinkedIn

To view a profile anonymously on LinkedIn, Go to the “Settings” option on your LinkedIn profile and then to “Visibility”. You can now toggle the options to allow Private or Semi-private mode.

How to view profile anonymously on LinkedIn?
source: LinkedIn

Now, when you view their profile in Semi-private mode, your name will not be shown to the other person, but your other details like position and job title will be displayed to them. And if you decide to use Private mode, no profile detail will be shown to them.

What are the benefits of being part of LinkedIn groups?

LinkedIn groups are a great way to connect with a large audience and for B2B prospecting.

They provide an opportunity to interact with experts in your field and share your knowledge and ideas with other group members.

Additionally, LinkedIn allows group members to communicate directly through messages, without the need for a connection request and acceptance. Being a part of a LinkedIn group automatically adds members to your LinkedIn network. Members' profiles will display that they are part of the same group, and you can initiate a conversation with them directly from their profile.

What is the meaning of Out of Network LinkedIn Members? How you connect with them?

Out of Network LinkedIn Members are individuals who are not connected to you through your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-degree connections, and with whom you do not share a common group on LinkedIn

These members have limited visibility on their profiles, and you may not be able to see all relevant information about them. They may also be referred to as "LinkedIn Members" on the platform.

To interact with these members, you can use the LinkedIn Inmail feature, which allows you to send messages to individuals you are not directly connected to.

how to connect with LinkedIn member profile?
source: LinkedIn

LinkedIn Network Size Limit: What is the maximum number of connections allowed on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has a limit on the number of direct connections you can have, which is currently 30,000 1st-degree connections. This restriction is in place to ensure a high-quality professional network and prevent spamming or unwanted connections.

Does that mean you can only interact with 30,000 people on LinkedIn?

Well, that’s not the case; you can add a “Follow” button to your profile, and if you don’t, it will be shown in your LinkedIn profile automatically once you reach 30,000 connections. You can even use LinkedIn’s Creator mode to build your audience.

How to cancel a LinkedIn connection request?

Sometimes you may send a connection request to someone by mistake, and you need to cancel or withdraw it. Don’t worry. Everyone makes mistakes! 

You can withdraw a LinkedIn connection request very quickly; this connection request may be sent to LinkedIn members, events, or pages.

To withdraw a connection request:

  • Go to the “My network” option on your LinkedIn.
  • Now click on “See all.” Now you are redirected to the “manage invitations” page.
  • Click on the “Sent” option, and you will get to see the connection requests that you have sent.
  • Now you can click “withdraw” next to a profile to cancel a LinkedIn connection request.
how to cancel a linkedin connection request?
source: LinkedIn


LinkedIn is like a rocket ship for your business; it can take you to new heights in no time. With just a few clicks, you can connect with thousands of like-minded individuals and skyrocket your professional network.

To wrap up the question, what do 1st, 2nd, and 3rd mean on LinkedIn? Consider the following points:

  • 1st-degree connections- Those people who are directly connected with you.
  • 2nd-degree connections- Those people who are connected with your connection’s connection.
  • 3rd- degree connections- Those people who are connected with your 2nd-degree connections.

Here are a few tips regarding LinkedIn connections:

  • Connect with the people you know or with whom you share your industry or interests.
  • Follow your role models or business idols to learn from them and stay updated regarding business ideas.
  • Send a message to someone when you want to talk about something important.

Boost Your LinkedIn Cold Outreach Campaign in minutes

Start generating high quality leads from day-1 like our 2000+ users do.

Latest articles

Browse all