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LinkedIn should launch LinkedIn Connect

14 May, 2010 (15:24) | social media, technology | By: Shannon Clark

This week I am at TieCon where today’s afternoon keynote was a conversation with Reid Hofffman and Deep Nishar of LinkedIn. I have been a long time LinkedIn user, among the very first users of the network, joining almost at the very beginning. However in the past few years my engagement on LinkedIn has been minimal, likely lower than it should be. A few years ago LinkedIn started allowing LinkedIn users to embed applications inside of LinkedIn Profiles which was a step which had been demanded for years and is quite welcome.

But this afternoon I was struck by a simple question: Why hasn’t LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Connect?

That is, why isn’t LinkedIn looking to be the Identity layer for not just a few applications running inside of LinkedIn or a very small handful of LinkedIn Partners, but instead to offer a strong, business focused identity layer for 1000’s of business applications across the Internet? Including applications on mobile platforms exactly as Facebook Connect and Twitter Oauth are used today to allow people to use Facebook or Twitter as an identity layer and a quickstart social network for a new application and to avoid needing to create new usernames and passwords as well as to rebuild social networks to use a new application.

I don’t know the answer but I think this would be a huge opportunity for LinkedIn.


Comment from Christopher S. Rollyson
Time: May 14, 2010, 7:53 pm

Shannon, intriguing idea, and a totally natural one. I’ll qualify my remarks by saying that I work with very conservative enterprise execs, not startup leaders so much. The former are pretty uncomfortable with perceived loss of privacy or control, and they usually don’t understand the nuances of single sign-on, inheritance, etc. LinkedIn is struggling to get them to have more value-added interaction ON the site, so it would IMO be a potential distraction to enable off-site interaction. That said, I could see them enabling a quasi-private network of trusted partners, but it would have to smell *very* different than, say, Facebook Connect or Google FriendConnect. I’d be surprised if it weren’t in the pipeline somewhere.

Comment from Shannon Clark
Time: May 14, 2010, 10:58 pm


My thought is that LinkedIn should launch this as an identity service & by default and in most cases only share what is already PUBLIC on LinkedIn when LinkedIn would be used as an Oauth authentication.

But I would also really like LinkedIn to then also look at offering, with the user’s consent, to allow some services deeper integration & data access. This could, for example, enable real serious syncing across social networks & devices – allowing me to have my LinkedIn contacts (what they share with me already) synced to my mobile phone & into whatever CRM system I might choose to use (which could be Salesforce, could be another SaaS service, could be an iPhone/iPad application or an Android app)

The point is that I think Facebook isn’t the only game in town – or doesn’t have to be and that LinkedIn is a more natural fit – but they would have to act quickly as they have very few developer relationships (and have soured many via past slowness to work with outside developers). At the moment Facebook is adding literally over 100,000 and counting sites external to Facebook who are integrating with Facebook via a wide range of facebook widgets (Like buttons, authentication and more). Twitter has a a number of sites and applications that use Twitter authentication but mostly directly for Twitter related purposes (less often to find folks who follow you/whom you follow on Twitter on some new service) and Yahoo & Google who both have very solid OpenID services have somewhat diminished momentum at the moment (and there are dozens of other options). Plus “Oauth” and “OpenID” while related aren’t precisely the same thing.

Anyway as I said, it was a fairly simple thought this afternoon – if I get a chance to talk with folks at LinkedIn sometime I’ll ask them about it…

Comment from Dave Bergschneider
Time: June 13, 2010, 12:23 pm

In complete agreement with a LinkedIn identity sign-on however I prefer the twitter Oauth more forthan the facebook one. Reason being, is facebook application approval simply looks intimidating and as if the “application” will have full access even though it states public information. The whole wording of application is scary too because the end-user often things of applications as being like a browser toolbar or some other useless app on their computer they don’t need or want. Same applies to facebook.

Pingback from You Know Facebook Connect but why not LinkedIn Connect?
Time: August 12, 2013, 7:47 am

[…] Here’s the post, with my thoughts below. A good thread with some technical discussion, but understandable for non-techies, too. […]

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