Viadeo, a social network founded in 2004 with 35 million professional members worldwide, is looking to take on LinkedIn as the preferred business social network in the United States — and the company thinks that its Viadeo API will do it. Viadeo recently launched a publicly available version of its API that provides full access to the social network’s users’ data including career, news, groups, jobs, schools and a users status and messaging system.
Viadeo sees the interconnection of platforms as the heart of the next generation of social networks. It believes that developers are shaping the future of the social web by creating Web applications that connect services together. Viadeo wants to provide developers with the API, platform and tools they need to create the next generation of independent applications.
The LinkedIn API is actually very comparable in functionality, but Viadeo feels its vision that deeply involves an open developer community will win out.
“Viadeo is a network for doing business, and not just about finding your next job,” CEO Dan Serfaty said. ”Now with our open API, third party developers can bring a professional social context to websites, applications and services via our globally-focused social graph.”
If an open vision is not enough, when it comes to taking on LinkedIn, Viadeo also claims to have a technical advantage insofar that their API is modeled after the Facebook Graph API. Viadeo has designed its API so closely to the Facebook Graph API that it says developers only need to change their endpoints and their Facebook apps will work with Viadeo, which could give Viadeo the developer advantage over LinkedIn.
The Viadeo API is currently available, but will have its official launch on September 7 at the SF NewTech Conference in San Francisco, CA. To get developers excited Viadeo has also announced the Viadeo API developer contest, running from September 7th to October 14th, with over 15K in prizes.
It can be difficult to think of another social network upsetting the foothold LinkedIn has, but we can’t underestimate the importance of a well designed API and the power of the developer community building around it.
Disclosure: Viadeo is a ProgrammableWeb sponsor