Following on Chairman Reid Hoffman's talk at the Graphing Social Patterns conference, Linkedin CEO Dan Nye spoke with Saul Hansell of the NYT about the business social networks API plans. He said that Linkedin's platform will not enable Facebook-like virtual food fights or vampires, and he refuses to call Linkedin a "social network." It's strictly a business networking tool.
....LinkedIn will have to approve any company that wants to tap into its system. Mr. Nye says he is looking for two kinds of applications. First, there are deals that enable LinkedIn members to tap into their connections in other places, for example, while using applications like Salesforce.com. Second, some applications will be allowed to add features to LinkedIn’s own site. Mr. Nye offered, as an example, a module connected to a trade show or conference that integrated travel planning and other features.
Linkedin wants to maintain a higher degree of control for its environment, which means that developers will have less to play with on the service. It's reasonable to differentiate based on business usage, but the more restrictive the environment, the less possibility that it will evolve in innovative ways that management couldn't imagine.
Nye also said the service now has 15 million members, and adds 1 million new users every 25 days. Next year the company expects to generate$75 million to $100 million in revenue, from ads, premium memberships and job listings.
He echoed Hoffman's comments that a single social graph would not prevail. “One graph that includes all types of relationships in one perfectly orchestrated universe is a geek, blogger dream. It’s not mass market,” Hoffman said as the Graphic Social Patterns conference. “The amount of effort in building and maintaining it is hard. It may be important to have different baseline rules for different brands and different networks.”