LinkedIn, the social network for business, has announced an enhanced version of its People Search API. While the V1 Search API contained some powerful and easy-to-use features, the latest additions for the new API are quite impressive.
When LinkedIn launched their API the search method enabled developers to replicate basic searches performed through LinkedIn's standard interface. This API method had in fact provided a strong level of functionality for developers, including filtering by categories such as industry and company, and helpful organizational tools such as sorting and pagination. But the new API greatly broadens the capabilities of applications connecting to LinkedIn.
LinkedIn's key enhancement is the ability to use faceted search. The data returned in such searches are, according to LinkedIn's API documentation, more analytical data that you see on LinkedIn's standard search result page, where you can observe how many people fit into particular categories:
Developers can thus not only obtain standard search results to help find connections, but can actually utilize higher level data, such as what professions are most popular within an individual's network.
As the quantity of social content continues to grow, access of more analytical data will be necessary to keep a competitive developer ecosystem growing for services like LinkedIn. We have 22 LinkedIn mashups in our directory now, and look forward to seeing what can be created with this new people search capability.