The business networking site LinkedIn announced Thursday that it will limit API (application interface integration) usage beginning May 12.
API access allows third-party programs to access certain data or content from another program or Website. For social media networkers, API access allows the social sharing programs they use, like Buffer or Hoosuite, to post content to or share content from the business networking site.
The good news is, this may not affect businesses, individuals and marketers who use these social sharing platforms to post on LinkedIn.
Starting on May 12, 2015, we will be limiting the open APIs to only support the following uses:
- Allowing members to represent their professional identity via their LinkedIn profile using our Profile API.
- Enabling members to post certifications directly to their LinkedIn profile with our Add to Profile tools.
- Enabling members to share professional content to their LinkedIn network from across the Web leveraging our Share API.
- Enabling companies to share professional content to LinkedIn with our Company API.
While social sharing programs such as SproutSocial may still be allowed to have Share API access, any other business or platform that wishes to have access will have to enroll in LinkedIn’s partnership program, the company stated on its developers site.
IDC software analyst Al Hilway on PCWorld, remarked that LinkedIn’s policy change is “effectively a pricing and monetization play. It is typical for players in the new age tech economy to start with permissive and free access to gain share and users and then progressively curtail it to monetize the audience they have gained.”