LinkedIn Restricts Developer Access
Written by Lucy Black   
Tuesday, 17 February 2015

LinkedIn has announced that it is restricting use of most of its APIs to approved partners. This has angered many developers who have created third party extension to LinkedIn but are unlikely to be accepted into its partnership program.

When LinkedIn announced its JavaScript API in 2010 and launched a Developer Network six months later developers welcome the chance to "Build the professional web with LinkedIn".




According to Mashable almost 30,000 outside developers are involved with LinkedIn and the professional network has some 300 million users worldwide.

Currently developers have access to ten LinkedIn APIs but from May 12th access to the full range will be restricted to members of one of its partner programs.

Outlining the change in focus in a blog post Adam Trachtenberg, director of the LinkedIn developer network, stated:

Over the past several years, we’ve seen some exciting applications from our developer community. While many delivered value back to our members and LinkedIn, not all have.

As such, we’ve taken steps to refocus the Developer Program from primarily open APIs to partnership integrations that we believe provide the most value to our members, developers and business.

After citing Smasung, WeChat, Evernote and LinkedIn's Sponsored Updates partner program as examples of successful partnerships, Trachtenberg lists the uses of four APIs that will remain open to all: 

  • Allowing members to represent their professional identity via their LinkedIn profile using the Profile API

  • Enabling members to post certifications directly to their LinkedIn profile with the Add to Profile tools

  • Enabling members to share professional content to their LinkedIn network from across the Web with the Share API

  • Enabling companies to share professional content to LinkedIn with the Company API

Trachtenberg concludes the post saying: 

For many developers, we understand that today’s changes may be disappointing and disruptive, but we believe these changes will provide further clarity and focus on which types of integrations will be supported by LinkedIn.


Understandably some within the community are now mounting a campaign urging people to Stop using LinkedIn

If all this sounds familiar, one precedent for LinkedIn's current action is the restrictive changes made by Twitter it use of its APIs, done ostensibly for the good of end users but to the detriment of many of the devs who had been creating third part add-ons.





More Information

Changes to LinkedIn Developer Program

Stop using LinkedIn

Related Articles

LinkedIn Groups API

LinkedIn Developer Network Opens

LinkedIn has an API

Twitter Previews Changes That Will Rein In Competitors


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 February 2015 )