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December 10, 2007

LinkedIn Opens Platform to other Web Sites

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor

Internet social networking Web site LinkedIn opened its service today to outside software developers in a bid move from an online referral database into a more relevant tool for business users.

The Mountain View, Calif., which first launched in xxx with the idea of connecting classmates and colleagues, will face stiff competition from companies such as Facebook which essentially now own the social networking space.

However, unlike Facebook or News Corp's more entertainment-driven MySpace (News - Alert), the Web's largest social network, LinkedIn has a niche market that concentrates on attracting business professional to their network.

LinkedIn, which claims 17 million registered users globally and about 5 million unique per month, is now attempting to lure developers through its Intelligent Applications platform program.

The program will let outside developers create software for LinkedIn as well as embed features of LinkedIn, such as finding your business contacts, directly from partner Web sites, according to the company.

Beginning today, the application will let readers of a BusinessWeek article search their LinkedIn networks of personal connections for people associated with companies mentioned in the story.

Outside applications have become the rage at social-networking sites since Facebook (News - Alert) began permitting them earlier this year. LinkedIn says it will take a more cautious approach, looking for companies that add value to the site instead of throwing open the doors to everyone.

LinkedIn is also participating in Google's (News - Alert) OpenSocial developer network that seeks to create a way for all developers to write software that will work on all platforms. MySpace is also a member of OpenSocial.

"What we are trying to do is make professionals more productive by making them able to find one another, learn more about each other and communicate efficiently with each other," LinkedIn Chief Executive Dan Nye told Reuters. "It's not a place where you waste two hours of your time trying to find a date."

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Tim Gray’s columnist page.


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