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LinkedIn tweaks API terms of use for itchy developers

Hopes to ease coder anxiety by raising privacy eyebrows

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Social-networking-for-suits outfit LinkedIn has revamped its application programming interface (API) terms of use to allow developers to better exploit the website.

The company said yesterday in a blog post that it wanted to "enable our members to use their LinkedIn identity wherever they may be online" in a move that mirrors Facebook, which allows its users to comment on other sites using their FB login.

LinkedIn said:

We also want our members to have the ability to tap their professional network to discuss and share what matters most to them whether they’re on or off LinkedIn.com.

Over the past year, we’ve been working closely with more than 75k developers to make this possible for our members, by helping developers leverage LinkedIn’s rich technology to build unique and innovative tools for professionals across the web.

The company has also appeased its network of third-party coders by applying updates to the LinkedIn Developer Platform. It claimed more than 1 million publisher sites were already providing a "share content" button to LinkedIn on their online properties.

What this means in practice is that the company will grant outside developers access to email addresses for its users upon request. Those coders will be able to "specify permissions from users who want to use their LinkedIn credentials to sign in and register for applications," the firm explained.

LinkedIn, which has around 175 million active users, came under fire recently after it admitted that a list of 6.5 million user passwords had been leaked online.

It tightened up security after the embarrassing breach.

Meanwhile, it's unsurprising to see LinkedIn securing what is, in effect, a distribution deal with publishers. This comes in the wake of Twitter cutting its syndication agreement with the network last month. ®

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