LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner: Robust Ads API Program 'High Priority'

Amy Castor
Aug. 05 2013, 08:00AM EDT

LinkedIn soon may be joining Twitter and Facebook in adding a robust Ads API program to its marketing efforts. During a third quarter earnings call, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said an Ads API is a “high priority” for the company.

An Ads API program would allow marketers to manage ad campaigns through cross platform tools and do things like create scores of ad campaigns, test various ads on LinkedIn, or quickly adjust spending across different social media outlets at one time.

A solid Ads API program could also contribute to the future growth of LinkedIn’s “marketing solutions” revenue, which accounted for 24% of the company’s $374 million Q2 earnings. (LinkedIn does not break out its advertising revenue, but simply lumps it under a marketing solutions category instead.)

In response to a question from an analyst during the earnings call, Weiner said that introducing a robust set of APIs to facilitate the way in which social media marketers leverage the company’s marketing platform is a high priority. He held back on saying when such a program might happen, however.

“We are not going to preannounce any specific dates, but suffice to say it is at or near the top of our list,” he added.

For the record, LinkedIn does already have an Ads API program, which it launched in November 2012, but the program is limited in scope, closed to the public, and so far includes only four partners: Adobe, AdStage, Bizo and Unified.

In contrast, Facebook has a very successful Ads API program, the beta of which it launched in 2009, while Twitter launched its Ads API earlier this year and recently added six more partners to its program.

Despite not having a more cohesive Ads API program, this week LinkedIn still beat Wall Street estimates in Q2 results, and its stock prices are growing in leaps and bounds. But imagine how much better the company might do with a stronger Ads API program?

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