SuperP&L! Application Adds Serious Fun to LinkedIn
LinkedIn, Facebook’s dour older brother, joined Google’s OpenSocial development platform today, announcing the Intelligent Application Platform–a service that will open the social-networking site to third-party software developers.
Like the Facebook Platform, “InApps” allows developers to create productivity applications for LinkedIn or to port some of the site’s features to outside Web sites. But unlike Facebook, these widgets must be approved by LinkedIn before they’re deployed.
Clearly, the company has no intention of offering users the chance to send electronic hamburgers to each other, or pop their zits. “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.”
Launching in concert with InApps are a new look and a number of new features designed to make the site more interactive. Among them: a news feed customized by the company and the industry in which a user works and an interesting BusinessWeek application that lets you see how you’re connected through LinkedIn to people and companies mentioned in its articles. With such upgrades, LinkedIn–which claims 17 million registered users globally and about 5 million unique per month–hopes to dominate the business of business networking. Personal networking and self-expression, it seems to be saying, are best left to others.
But is it reasonable to think that people will continue to maintain two social-networking profiles–one for their personal life and another for their professional life? LinkedIn CEO Nye says it is, especially given the value proposition LinkedIn offers its users. “…People have profiles on both services,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. “But on LinkedIn, you’re not going to get poked, there’s no zombies and you’re not going to share your music list. … Now when someone says, ‘Hey, let’s go down and meet at Starbucks,’ you don’t have to ask five people if they’re Tom.”