LinkedIn's Big Year: IPO, 60K Devs and Billions of API Calls

Facebook may be this year's most-discussed tech IPO, but last year certainly belonged to LinkedIn. The company, which is turning a modest profit, also has expanded its developer offerings. With that came many more developers to the LinkedIn API, more than doubling the number of registered devs in less than a year. And those apps created on the Platform account for billions of API requests each month going to business social network.

In November, 2010, months before LinkedIn's IPO, it had 20,000 developers, according to LinkedIn's Adam Trachtenberg. Shortly after the stock debuted in May, 2011, the developer count had inched up to 25,000, when we wrote that adoption was bound to surge. It did, and then some. The company has 60,000 developers as of March, 2012, according to its press page. That's more than double the developers in less than a year, or triple in sixteen months, if you go back to the 2010 number.

Developer counts don't even include the LinkedIn Share button, which has found its way onto 400,000 unique domains. The share button is likely the largest user of the LinkedIn API, which clocks in at 2 billion requests per month, making it an API billionaire.

Other internal apps include the company follow button and Apply with LinkedIn.

The external app with perhaps the biggest splash is CubeDuel, which in early 2011 hit LinkedIn API limits. LinkedIn's Trachtenberg extended CubeDuel's limit twice as the app became popular. In the case of most apps that hit the API limits, they probably do so because of scraping or data mining, as alluded to in the LinkedIn forums.

"We always take a member-centric approach," Trachtenberg said. "Our goal is to enable the most successful integrations possible while making sure that all members are having a fantastic experience."

Though, as CubeDuel's founder pointed out, LinkedIn hasn't had many wins on its platform (the company does have a modest app gallery). But with the rapidly expanding developer community, perhaps it's on its way there.

Be sure to read the next Social article: Hey Pinterest, When Will a Public API be Available?