LinkedIn Links Out.

linkedin :: linkedout

Professional social network LinkedIn announced today that developers will be able to leverage LinkedIn functionality ‘outside’ of the LinkedIn website via APIs/Widgets. This is extremely significant because I believe this is an indicator of a trend in the space. I would not be surprised if MySpace and Facebook do the same thing in 2008. How else can they sustain their rapid growth?

As the social aggregator space has evolved, widgets infiltrated social networks. Recently, widgets have given birth to a new class of deeply integrated applications called Social Apps. Now, things are jumping right back outside of the wall. White label social networks like PeopleAggregator, OneSite, and KickApps will soon have ‘competition’ from incumbent networks for publisher mind share.

I am not sure exactly how this will affect the mechanics of the social space as yet, but one thing is for certain, large social networks will increase their reach by orders of magnitude if they can pull this off.

The other cool tidbit of news is that LinkedIn will now offer a customizable homepage with ‘modules.’ It doesn’t look like they are enabling 3rd party development yet, but I could be wrong. Either way, it looks like the Social Networks are going to continue to look more and more like Start Pages.

The only thing that bums me out is I can’t seem to access any of this from their website (lame police). Hopefully, some kind sould from LinkedIn will let me in (hint hint, clue clue).

More on this to come. Later, dorks!

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hoomanradfar Written by:

  • Of course, Facebook already enables this, but few web sites seem to have taken them up on the offer. You can access the Facebook API within a third-party website (it looks a bit clumsy, though – a new window opens for you to log in to Facebook, and then you have to close it).

    It will be interesting to see if LinkedIn implement this in a way that takes off.

  • Dan, definitely a good call. I don't think we have seen much of that yet precisely for the reason that you had mentioned – it is a bit clunky. I think that this will be a large growth area this year. Suffice to say, this year will be ripe with innovation around the emerging 'social infrastructure.' The question will be how/when OpenID will really start to factor into these efforts. It is a bit scary to imagine a web where your personal information is trapped within 2-3 silos.

  • Actually, such "silos" are part of why the white-label social applications you mention are getting so hot. (I've gotten into a great deal more detail about this on my blog at http://whatmattersonline.wordpress.com/2008/01/22

    According to one analyst at Forrester, there's already 80 to 100 companies offering white-label social networking options, and it appears (from my first look) that most will allow companies who implement them to do what they like with the data. I think this will kick off an interesting era in the social media marketing efforts of corporate giants!