As you may remember, professional social network LinkedIn added a follow button for companies, which allowed users to follow a company on the network, and receive real-time alerts from its profile in their news and activity stream. LinkedIn is taking this a step further today with the launch of an embeddable button that companies can add to their websites.
Now, LinkedIn users will see ‘follow Company’ buttons on company sites, as well as on LinkedIn itself. Similar to Facebook’s Like button, as long as you are logged into LinkedIn, you can follow a company automatically by clicking the button. If you are not logged on, a box will appear asking for your LinkedIn credentials.
As mentioned above, following a company will allow you to keep track of company updates, such as job openings, new developments and more via your status update stream. LinkedIn says a number of companies are planning to add the follow button to their sites including American Express, AT&T, Starbucks, Sony, Rypple, DonorsChoose and Kiva.
For LinkedIn, this isn’t the first social button for developers to embed on the web. The company has been seeing major traction with its LinkedIn share button as well. And for LinkedIn, the follow button is more than just a way for users to track company updates. taking a page out of Facebook’s advertising strategy, LinkedIn is using follow data to help serve member more targeted display ads (users can choose to opt out of this).