Caliber Launches LinkedIn Chat App

Caliber recently launched as a chat app for LinkedIn users. In a landscape where many apps add chat functionality as quickly as possible, LinkedIn has not yet shown such interest. LinkedIn has limited its messaging functionality to InMail, which operates similarly to email. Through Integration with LinkedIn's API, Caliber offers an instant chat option for LinkedIn business contacts.

While Caliber's functionality seems to fill an obvious hole in LinkedIn's app offering, the timing remains curious. Caliber launched a little over a month after LinkedIn announced significant changes to its developer program. Under new guidelines, LinkedIn reserves greater control over public access to its APIs. LinkedIn limits the number of APIs available to nonpartner companies and freely wields the ability to cut off API access to such nonpartners. To date, Caliber does not constitute a LinkedIn partner.

Although Caliber's very existence seems fully dependent on LinkedIn's feelings toward Caliber, Caliber CEO Andres Blank remains fully aware of the situation, and the company continues to plan accordingly.

"We're aware that a lot of apps have been shut down in the past," Blank told Re/code. "We've already taken some precautions for this case. It would be unfortunate because some of our functionality would be limited, but we'll still be able to operate."

Currently, LinkedIn announced that Caliber's app is under review, but LinkedIn has not taken any adverse action against the company. Examples of Caliber's precaution, should LinkedIn cut the company off, include expanding to include other platforms such as Twitter, Dribble or AngelList. For now, Caliber seems to have its foot on the gas and has managed to bank some major users from tech juggernauts including Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Dropbox.

Be sure to read the next Chat article: Team Communication Starts with HipChat