So what’s the difference between the two images above? Well at first glance they would seem to be the same. Both invite the individual to connect with you on LinkedIn, right? Well almost but there is a very subtle difference that if you miss it you could end up spamming people who are not already on LinkedIn.
At some point in the past I must have let my guard slip and allowed LinkedIn to suck up all my contacts from my address book and since then it has been keen that I connect with everyone. Of course, not everyone is on LinkedIn, my Mum for example is not going to have much use for it. And that is the crucial difference between the two links above.
Clicking “Connect” will invite the individual to link with you. Clicking “Add to Network” will do the same but the individual isn’t already a member of LinkedIn (or doesn’t use that email address) and will presumably be encouraged to sign up.
I have nothing against LinkedIn trying to help me extend my network but the manner in which it does that, by blurring the lines between those that are members and those that aren’t, is, well a bit sneaky.