Home LinkedIn’s Answer to Facebook’s Open Graph

LinkedIn’s Answer to Facebook’s Open Graph

Professional social network LinkedIn has opened up access to a new developer platform today that should bring LinkedIn content, buttons, Twitter-esque “profile summaries” and more to websites throughout the Web.

The platform, though, isn’t just for developers. LinkedIn is offering an entire suite of plugins to bring all of this content to your website. Even better, it’s making it as easy as the click of a button and it could offer some serious competition to Facebook’s Open Graph on sites that cater to the career-minded.

“With this release, we’re including a powerful set of new plugins; to further help bring professional identity & insights into your application,” writes the company on its blog. “For example, you can show your visitors who they know in a professional context with the Member Profile plugin, and display rich personalized insights about companies featured on your site with the Company Insider plugin.”

On top of buttons for sharing websites and recommending products, LinkedIn is offering a set of plugins to display profile summaries, full profiles, company profiles and “company insider.” This last plugin shows customized information about a company including who, in the logged-in person’s network, works there, a list of new hires and job changes, and even the ability to follow such news. That’s the other big offering – a LinkedIn login that supports OAuth 2.0.

The ease with which these features can be implemented will likely be the most exciting point for many non-developers. The plugins take a couple lines of code that can be copied and pasted into a site’s code. All you need to do to get a plugin is go to LinkedIn’s plugin gallery (as seen below), click on the “Get It” button and paste the code into the site.

Beyond ease of implementation, LinkedIn says that it has also made “significant infrastructure improvements to the platform itself,” improving the JavaScript load-time and adding SSL and more robust OAuth support.

With the ability to easily add functionality like hovercard-esque LinkedIn profile summaries and company profiles, we’d be surprised if we didn’t start seeing more LinkedIn content around the Web. Just as TechCrunch displays information about the companies mentioned in its article pulled from CrunchBase, other blogs and sites could now display LinkedIn information, which has the advantage of being fully interactive with the viewer’s LinkedIn profile. While someone may not want to login to certain sites using their Facebook identity, this and the potential interaction with LinkedIn data and social graph could boost LinkedIn’s presence on the Web drastically.

What do you think? Will the lure of profile summaries, company information and customized company profiles get you to second guess your login of choice on some sites? And how many sites will abandon Facebook to bring in the LinkedIn social graph instead?

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