Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Faster, More Furious: LinkedIn’s New Developer Platform

I’m sure Adam would have rather used this as the title for his LinkedIn blog post, something we debated yesterday evening as he finalized his post. Jus kidding. Check out Adam’s more recent blog post on his personal blog, where he talks about the easter egg from today’s launch.

But, I digress… So, earlier today, Adam Nash and our platform team launched a completely kick-ass developer platform, which is big news both for developers and companies.

What’s new:

  • For developers: Easier to implement. And, I mean EASIER TO IMPLEMENT!
  • More plugins: From member profiles to product recommendations
  • Faster under the hood

One of the areas I find interesting is the ability for publishers or bloggers to use LinkedIn plugins to make it even easier to engage with their readers. This could be either commenting on the blog post while some journalists may prefer the simpler member profile hovercard (something Flo helped us implement for the LinkedIn blog), which allows the reader to send a message to the post author, if they’re connected, and also shows your common connections.

Pretty slick!

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What else can users create? For starters, there have been some pretty nifty implementations in the past, given a much smaller dev toolset. I can’t imagine what companies, small businesses and publishers are now gonna build with the tools given to them today.

I’ll just leave you with a quote from Jack Dorsey on the magic unleashed by developers on any platform:

You can’t build an electricity grid and say, “You should go out and invent vacuum cleaners. Or keyboards or toaster overs.” You have to give the right tools and primitives to folks, so they can build what they want, and what they want to see in the world.

With today’s launch, developers have been given the right tools to build upon LinkedIn’s powerful professional platform, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Expect to see my favorite examples covered on my blog here.

What others are saying…

One of the perks of my job is the opportunity to share some of this interesting news to users as well as to folks who are most interested in this stuff.

Here are some reactions:

1. TechCrunch / LinkedIn unveils a more open developer platform, with lightweight customizable plugins:

The idea behind plugins is to give developers are more lightweight way to embed LinkedIn functionality and data on third-party sites. ALl of the plugins can be integrated onto websites with just a few lines of javascript and are customizable, says Adam Nash. For example, LinkedIn’s Member Profile plugins brings a snippet of user profiles to a third-party site and can show users who they know within an application in a professional context.

2. Mashable / LinkedIn launches revamped Developer Platform:

The new LinkedIn Developer Platform and website make these APIs available to anyone who wants to use them. LinkedIn also opens its new platform for plug-ins, including the “Sign in with LinkedIn” button and the LinkedIn Share buttons you see on Mashable’s business and marketing stories. There are also plug-ins for member profiles, company profiles and a Recommend button that lets users recommend your products through their LinkedIn network.

3. RWW / LinkedIn’s Answer to Facebook’s Open Graph:

The platform, though, isn’t just for developers. LinkedIn is offering an entire suite of plugins to bring all of this content to your website. Even better, it’s making it as easy as the click of a button and it could offer some serious competition to Facebook’s Open Graph on sites that cater to the career-minded.

4. Venture Beat / LinkedIn connects to the web with new plugins:

While developers can build applications that run on LinkedIn itself, perhaps the most promising part of the platform involves the ability to access LinkedIn data from beyond the LinkedIn site, on other sites and apps.

5. GigaOm / LinkedIn and Facebook: Personal and Professional in the identity wars:

But Facebook still seems to be a social playground for many users — a place they post photos and play games and share links to funny videos — while LinkedIn is like the office: it’s where users post their professional histories and connect with others in their field, search for jobs, and do other business-related things. So is there room for both to have a web-embracing plugin platform? Could LinkedIn appeal to older, more professional users who think Facebook is either too frivolous or too insecure and therefore don’t login or use its plugins?

6. The Next Web / LinkedIn launches developer platform social plugins:

LinkedIn will fill a crucial gap among credible OAuth providers — I’m always loathe to use my Facebook account to log into business-oriented apps and I imagine there are plenty of others out there who’d much rather log in with LinkedIn in those cases.

I could go on, but you get the picture. If you still want more, check out Techmeme for related stories.

So, once again: Kudos to Adam Nash and LinkedIn’s Platform team. And, here’s to the thousands of developers waiting to build these utilitarian apps for you.

/@mariosundar

Filed under: Linkedin, LinkedIn Features, , ,

4 Responses

  1. […] here: Faster, More Furious: LinkedIn's New Developer Platform … social: Thursday, April 7th, 2011 at 10:31 Tags: guy, mario-sundar, Marketing, Media, […]

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