The business networking site LinkedIn has now launched a new application platform they call InApps. It's an OpenSocial-based platform that enables third-party developers to create applications that get embedded into LinkedIn user's profiles. While this follows along the model used of Facebook, MySpace and host of other social platforms, it differs in its emphasis on being business centric in nature and, like the service itself, follows a much more controlled and button-downed approach. And like the LinkedIn API that we reported on last year, access is limited based on an approval process.
What apps got approved as part of the launch? As you can see in the LinkedIn Application Directory, there are nine initial applications including ones from Amazon, Box.net, Google, Huddle, Six Apart, SlideShare, Tripit, WordPress and a "Company Buzz" application developed by LinkedIn. Three of the more interesting ones include:
- A Reading List from Amazon so you can "Extend your professional profile by sharing the books you’re reading with other LinkedIn members. Find out what you should be reading by following updates from your connections, people in your field, or other LinkedIn members of professional interest to you."
- A My Travel app from TripIt: "See where your entire professional network is traveling and when you will be in the same city as your colleagues. Meet up at the next industry event or re-connect with old friends. Add the My Travel application to display your current location, upcoming trips and travel stats within your network."
- A SlideShare app that lets you "check out the presentations of your colleagues, find trusted experts, and share your own presentations with people in your network. It's a great way to share your portfolio, resume, or presentations, market your ideas to other people, and learn from other people."
We have seen a strong interest from our visitors here on ProgrammableWeb in the LinkedIn API, even though it's a limited-access API with no public documentation available. There is certainly a lot of potential for a platform that provides access to a professional business network with 30 million members. It will be interesting to see what sorts of apps get through the LinkedIn vetting process and how quickly the platform grows.