LinkedIn enter the social network application space
I’ve always been mindful of the fact that though Linkedin has great potential as a professional networking tool, it’s never been quite fully-featured enough to take it from a personal showcase hooked up to a directory of contacts. It’s never been a destination for me, and while I maintain a profile on there, and have had the odd contact from times past, it’s not a resource I check on a daily basis. Now I get word that LinkedIn are adding application support to their offering- a no brainer seeing as it’s exactly this move which propelled Facebook into the all powerful network it is today. As you might imagine, the LinkedIn apps are of rather more of a serious nature, and it appears limited right now to selected partners, so we get online file storage courtesy of Box.net, and an app to allow you to share your current reading material via Amazon. Before Facebook became a marketplace for various useless viral applications (Zombies, Super pokes etc) I had assumed it would do the same- though thinking back I didn’t consider the demographic and the motivation for these apps (ie CPA/CPC ad impressions). LinkedIn isn’t free, so there’s not the same considerations, and by controlling the apps, LinkedIn will be getting an revenue stream from the Amazon affiliate system and (one assumes) the paid versions of other apps.
I see this as a smart move by LinkedIn. By maintaining control of the apps, they make sure they remain of a high quality and relevant to their users. More interaction with the site equals more page impressions, along with a new revenue stream. It’s certainly something I’ll be looking into in much more detail; if I can inspire others to look at my profile and create genuine new contacts while enjoying the site more than a simple contact manager then I’ll certainly be spending more time on it. I’ll post with my findings soon