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LinkedIn updates developer access

The professional network builds Web modules that let people see who they know at companies they read about.

The new LinkedIn Company Insider module lets Web users see who they know at a company they're reading about.

LinkedIn is releasing today an update of its tools for developers. New functions will allow Web developers to embed member or company profiles on Web sites, including listings of who the user knows in common with other people, or who he or she knows at a company. The Sign In with LinkedIn feature has been updated to be callable from Javascript.

To differentiate from that other, much larger social network, LinkedIn is strongly pushing the professional nature of its network. As LinkedIn vice president of product management Adam Nash says, "There are a lot of apps where it's valuable to come in with your professional identity." Likewise, he says, there are content sites that people read primarily in a professional capacity, and making a story connect to a reader's professional network could be a big benefit.

The LinkedIn Open Platform launched more than a year ago. Popular apps that use it include Tweetdeck, Microsoft Outlook 2010, and Xobni.