LinkedIn’s API – Still For Toy Applications

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After last month’s spat over LinkedIn’s use (or misuse) of Twitter’s API, I find it quite interesting that LinkedIn is once again inviting the developer world to their own API.

And while it seems like the program is evolving, I’m not convinced it’s ready for prime time. But it’s still worth a look…

Blogs and all

LinkedIn blog recently announced that they’d like to “share some updates we’ve made to the LinkedIn Developer Platform to continue fostering creative innovations using LinkedIn’s technology.

Hey – who doesn’t like updates and fostering innovation!

I took specific note that they have updated the LinkedIn Developer Platform Terms and Conditions. Those conditions tripped me up a while back – maybe things have gotten better…

Evolving conditions

It’s hard to say what was compared to now what is – I don’t find a convenient “This is what we changed” sort of overview.

The things you can do – access your account over the web through a sort of portal, make updates, check into minor things – you can do those things.

What you can’t do…

You know – make “Applications used for hiring, marketing, or sales.” The useful stuff…

There’s language about volume of traffic – but volume will only come from really useful applications –  the kinds you’re prohibited from creating.

It does tell the reader that LinkedIn requires an additional business relationship for these sorts of applications (presumably with other licensing terms) and that we should “Learn more about our (their) partner programs at https://developer.linkedin.com/programs.” But goes on to say that this link doesn’t exist yet!?!

So you can’t build useful applications except through an undefined process that requires additional undisclosed licensing terms.

But feel free to spend your time developing – they’d really like that…

When image isn’t everything

And lastly, they’d like us to know that “These Terms will evolve, so please check back regularly.”

Well that’s nice to know – even after you manage to make your way through them today, you can count on them changing in the future.

And since I don’t expect any useful application to be developed for peanuts, you might just be left high and dry if the terms change in ways that you find unacceptable.

That’s why I remain a bit skeptical. If you still have an interest – please try it out. If you get direct experience, please share with us!

To your continued success,

steve

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