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!