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LinkedIn Thinks Publishers Need Yet Another "Share This" Button

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It’s no secret that professional social network LinkedIn is actively working on making its platform more socially connected. In the past year, the company has launched a deep integration with Twitter, the ability to follow a contact or company, a better groups functionality and enhanced sharing on the site. And a few months ago, the professional social network launched LinkedIn Signal, which allowed users to apply the professional social network’s filters to Twitter’s firehose. Today, the network once again adding another social feature with the release of a brand new official Share button.

Similar to the Facebook Like button or the Tweet button, publishers can now embed a branded LinkedIn share button with a few lines of code onto their sites. The “Share on LinkedIn” button will allow readers to share content (i.e. news, white papers, presentations) with your professional social network on LinkedIn.

If you click a LinkedIn Share button on a publisher site you’ll be asked to login with your LinkedIn account, and then you’ll be able to share a URL (with the network’s shortener) in your status update box. The button will also show how many shares have been made for a particular piece of content.

At launch, Bloomberg.com, Forbes.com, and SiliconValley.com will be integrating the new button. The network initially rolled out the Share button on the Huffington Post a few months ago.

A universal Share button definitely makes sense for the professional social network, whose members tend to share content like news and presentations with contacts. Developers has created WordPress-plugins to add similar functionality in the past, but an official Share button from LinkedIn gives both publishers and the network compelling data on what type of content readers are sharing with their professional contacts.

But with the growing number of “Share This” buttons on the web (Tweet, Like, Buzz, Digg), the “Share” real estate on blogs is growing competitive. Not every publisher will want a plethora of share buttons populating their site.

Of course this is part of LinkedIn’s broader strategy of bringing LinkedIn to any sites or platforms that people may use in their professional life, including Twitter and now blogs. The big question remains as to whether LinkedIn will plug-into Facebook’s social graph. CEO Jeff Weiner said recently that a social hookup with the world’s largest social network would depend on the value of the integration.

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