Business social network LinkedIn is following in Facebook's footsteps and opening up an application programming interface (API) to allow third-party developers to contribute to the site. But Dan Nye, the company's CEO, recently spoke with the New York Times' Saul Hansell and explained that it's going to be limited, in the interest of keeping things professional.
"We're not going to have people sending electronic hamburgers to each other," Nye told the Times, in a not-so-subtle reference to the utter ridiculousness of many Facebook developer applications.
Rather, LinkedIn's platform API will invite developers, who must be pre-approved by the company to create two kinds of applications: one, applications that reach out to LinkedIn members' connections on other Web sites (the Times article mentioned, for example, Salesforce.com), and two, widgets for business functions like conference organization or travel planning.
Additionally, unlike Facebook, Nye said that LinkedIn is interested in profiting off its APIs, though he did not specify how.
Nye also said explicitly to the Times that he would like to eventually take the company public.