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LinkedIn Announces Apps – The Future of Social Platforms?

Submitted by on Tuesday, 28 October 2008No Comment

LinkedIn announced today the launch of LinkedIn applications.  I know what you’re thinking…. no…. will the Facebook App spam hell now plague LinkedIn as well?  Fortunately, the answer is no.


Linked in is launching 10 applications from 8 companies that will let you collect information, share reading lists, communicate and collaborate and share documents with the people in your network.

The 10 Initial Applications are:

  • Slide.com – Share your presentations with your network
  • WordPress & BlogLink- Share your blog with your network
  • Box.net – Filesharing
  • Company Buzz – Shows the twitter activity associated with your company
  • Slideshare and Google Presentation – Share presentations on your profile
  • My Travel – See where people in your network will be
  • Huddle Workspaces – Securely share info to collaborate on projects

BTW – I know that I only listed 9 – they say 10 apps in the video, but there are only 9 live on the site.  Perhaps one got delayed.

This is the “corporate” video from Linked-In.

What Does This Mean?

When I first heard the combination of applications on a social networking site, I had nightmares of the “app-spam” that plagues facebook.  BUT LinkedIn is smarter.  They are limiting the apps to partners and the initial apps are all relevant and useful and cool.  So first – congrats to LinkedIn on good execution.  I was a little surprised not to see twitter on that list – although perhaps that is coming.

I like how LinkedIn apps will help to aggregate my online life – someone can go to LinkedIn and use it more as a platform; see my blog, my travel plans, the books I recommend.  Essentially, this is a consolidation of my online feeds and activities; which makes it easier for people to learn about me and know what’s going on without visiting a ton of different sites (twitter, blog, etc).

Now, what does this mean.  The potential is actually pretty big. (now I’ll switch to more of a tech geek vs. marketer).  More and more b-to-b collaboration tools have been popping up recently (I must have seen at least 5 at DEMO), and many with a common trend – make online collaboration easier.  The LinkedIn apps definitely do that.  So, there is a genuine need in the marketplace for this kind of development, and using LinkedIn as the backbone certainly makes it easier.

What is really POWERFUL about this is the long-term potential.  Could LinkedIn become the new defacto platform for business collaboration?  A social network transforming into a platform for business operation and collaboration.

How about this…. Imagine LinkedIn creates an API where companies can use it to build upon their existing intranet structures.  That kind of sounds like the direction that the Huddle Workspaces App is headed.

Or what about if LinkedIn and other networks jumped on the dataportability bandwagon and you could share and move your data and info seamlessly across a variety of networks, including LinkedIn.  Consolidation of online communities is really useful… joining new sites (like Utterz or Plurk) simply means that my community and the places where I interact with them are increasingly fragmented.  Using some of the Mega-Social-Networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Myspace to consolidate the data from these other tools into one place makes managing my online life much easier.

So, there is my 2 cents.  What do you think?  Agree?  Dissagree?

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