LinkedIn API Platform Goes Live: Your Resume and Business Network Now Have an API

Adam DuVander, November 23rd, 2009

LinkedInPerhaps your most important online network of business contacts is now programmable. LinkedIn launched its API (our LinkedIn API profile), which allows developers to access a user’s connections and anyone’s profile data, in addition to several other features. Though some are saying “finally,” it’s clearly not too late for LinkedIn, who aims to be the professional networking platform.

It’s been about a year since LinkedIn added the ability for third party apps to play in its profiles. Now it’s going the other way, allowing anyone to mix its own content in their site. Using OAuth, your applications can access many of the features your users would use on the main LinkedIn site itself.

The developer area isn’t particularly organized yet, but you can find a lot by digging through the API forums. The main portions of the new API:

  • Profile, including either the public view or the more detailed view your user may be allowed to see. Be sure to also check out the fields available.
  • Connections, a list of user’s contacts
  • Status, the Twitter-esque message users update. You can set, clear and retrieve a user’s status.
  • Search for LinkedIn users with a number of parameters, including name, company and title.
  • Invitations can be sent from the API, as well, which means developers can control the entire search, view and friend user experience.

As platforms go, LinkedIn is opening wide. It benefits from updated profiles and additional contacts. And ZDNet says the economy makes the platform a well-timed move for LinkedIn:

LinkedIn has never been more important as the unemployment rate rises. Facebook keeps you up to date, but LinkedIn can help you get a job.

Simply put, LinkedIn may be late, but for the site’s popularity the timing may be just right.

It may be an obvious move and it may be later than others, but at least it is also bold. Many companies shy away from opening up when they launch an API. LinkedIn is making its platform very available, which benefits them at least as much as developers.

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5 Responses to “LinkedIn API Platform Goes Live: Your Resume and Business Network Now Have an API”

November 24th, 2009
at 1:55 pm
Comment by: Raj Anand » ‘LinkedIn opens its platform’, what does it mean for recruiters

[...] Web, innovation, recruitment | Subscribe The software development industry has been going on (see here and here) about how LinkedIn has just opened it’s platform via an API (Application [...]

November 29th, 2009
at 9:12 pm
Comment by: Link LinkedIn into your next Ruby application — Wynn Netherland

[...] dzone_title = “Link LinkedIn into your next Ruby application”; var dzone_style = “1″; LinkedIn launched its new API last week, allowing any developer brave enough to implement OAuth to integrate with one [...]

February 5th, 2010
at 7:27 pm
Comment by: Mashup Guide :: LinkedIn API: First steps using Python

[...] enthusiasm  for LinkedIn increased dramatically once I learned that LinkedIn opened up its API to the public at large.  What is still unclear to me is how much the API allows one to get data in and out  LinkedIn.   [...]

June 17th, 2010
at 1:09 am
Comment by: LinkedIn API People Search – Find More People Faster

[...] LinkedIn launched their API the search method enabled developers to replicate basic searches performed through LinkedIn’s [...]

October 7th, 2010
at 12:22 pm
Comment by: LinkedIn’s Javascript API Aims to Spread Platform Adoption

[...] November, LinkedIn opened access to its platform via its API. With the release of the new Javascript API and the Sign In widget, LinkedIn has scored key points. [...]

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Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.