LinkedIn has shut off API access to fellow professional social network Viadeo and a number of other startups who have been tapping into LinkedIn’s firehose of data via its open API program. The other companies whose access to LinkedIn’s data that will be revoked are IKO Systems, Linked, Drag&Tag, and Yatedo.
Why? The company says these startups are violating LinkedIn’s terms of service for developers. Specifically, Viadeo has been reselling products that include member profile data from LinkedIn. Additionally, to use any data gathered from LinkedIn’s APIs in a paid product, you must first be accepted into LinkedIn’s Partner Program.
This isn’t the first time LinkedIn has shut down API access to startups using its Open API. Last year, LinkedIn cut off access to BranchOut (a LinkedIn for Facebook) for violating the network’s API TOS because BranchOut was potentially going to charge recruiters for access to LinkedIn data. LinkedIn has also cut off API access to Monster’s social recruiting app Beknown, brand management app Visible.me, resume service Daxtra, professional reputation manager Mixtent and CRM-Gadget.
Putting LinkedIn profile data in a product and then reselling that product is a clear violation of LinkedIn’s terms of service, says the company.
Of course, Viadeo, which just raised $32 million in funding, is a competitor os sorts to LinkedIn, describes itself as the world’s second-largest social network for business people with 45 million members (compared to LinkedIn’s 150 million users).
LinkedIn says its developer program currently has 1 million publishers who have implemented its Share button and 75,000 developers (up from 60,000 in February).
Funnily enough, LinkedIn was recently on the opposite side of the table, when Twitter removed its feeds from the professional social network.