Facebook is everywhere on the web now thanks to features that allow almost any website to tie in to the service so visitors can share and discuss what they find with friends. Now the professional and business-focused LinkedIn social network is offering a similar service called LinkedIn Platform.
Web developers with the know-how can now give business websites an extra edge with “Share” and “Recommend” buttons; these are very similar to Facebook’s “Like” button. Share exposes any website to the LinkedIn community, while Recommend exposes a product or service that exists within the network.
LinkedIn is also deploying a system that allows site visitors to log in to a local site using their LinkedIn IDs, and tools that allow you to display info like profile or business data from the social network on your site. These features are potentially useful, but the applications are a little more arcane than the immediately powerful Share and Recommend.
Unfortunately, you’ll need an advanced web developer to deploy the “Sign In with LinkedIn” feature, but most of the other features are a cinch with the provided plugins as long as you have some knowledge about HTML and website design.
Don’t stop the presses — this is not a world-changing coup. LinkedIn isn’t Facebook, but it’s not small potatoes by any means. Another way to expose what you have to offer is always welcome.
Also, LinkedIn has a niche: businesses and white collar professionals. LinkedIn Platform won’t matter too much if your customers are regular Joe consumers from off the street, but this could turn out to be a new gold mine if your business shares that niche. This could be great for B2B services, for example.
We’ll see how this unfolds and keep you posted. In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions.
Samuel Axon: Samuel is the Editorial Director supervising Sprout Social's editorial and web content projects. He has years of experience in blogging and social media, having previously worked as an editor at social media and technology news sites Mashable and Engadget. He also helped build the white label web content management system Crowd Fusion from the ground up.