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LinkedIn Opens API For Company, Job Listings

Websites and enterprise apps will be able to freely access LinkedIn company profiles and present that data within their own user interface.

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LinkedIn is expanding the data available through its application programming interface to include company and job listings.

The new widgets and programming interfaces announced Thursday build on the JavaScript API LinkedIn put into production in April, as well as the LinkedIn REST API, which provides Web services that can be used with any programming language.

More information is available at the LinkedIn Developer site.

"LinkedIn has always seen itself as a platform business," Adam Nash, vice president of product management, said in an interview. "We believe business software will be fundamentally better if its users understand who the professionals they are dealing with are and how they are related to each other. In 2011 and beyond, we think every business application should be integrating these kinds of capabilities."

With the addition of company data, websites and enterprise applications will be able to freely access LinkedIn company profiles and present that data within their own user interface. Nash said that could be useful in a variety of business applications. For example, an application can submit a domain name and get back a company profile, including contextual data on who works at that firm and which of those employees are in the user's network.

"The application can present company information right there when you need it, and not make you open up another browser window," Nash said, meeting the rising expectations of users who "want information at their fingertips when it's relevant."

The jobs listing API can be incorporated into career and professional websites, or the career's section of a company's own website, perhaps to make it easier for LinkedIn members to find jobs that match their profiles or connections at that company who can help them get the job.

LinkedIn said the API access to companies and jobs includes "search with rich facets," meaning that applications will be able to find listings by attributes such as industry or geography, in addition to company name or a keyword match. Available company data includes products and recommendations for the company, as well as personalized recommendations for companies the user wants to follow. Similarly, the jobs API will deliver personalized recommendations for jobs that might interest the user and provides the ability for the application to bookmark a job listing within the user's LinkedIn account.

Developers can either use the JavaScript APIs to add LinkedIn interactivity mashup style, in the browser, or use REST to make a server-to-server connection from a Web or enterprise application. "We understand business apps have to deal with both," Nash said.

LinkedIn also provides a couple of copy-and-paste code plug-ins, Company Profile and Company Insider, that can be added to a website to display a capsule profile that allows LinkedIn members to follow a company or see who they know who works there.

One of the more interesting companies LinkedIn users might want to follow is the company itself. Following LinkedIn's strong IPO last week, the stock was still trading at more than $90 per share at midday on Thursday, or double the original asking price of $45.

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