LinkedIn intends to monetize its social networking site for professionals through the imminent introduction of its advertising API.
The company's platform, with more than 238 million members, seems intent to ramp up its efforts in advertising, with eyes set on fellow social networking giants Facebook and Twitter.
In the company's latest quarterly earnings call, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner answered the question of an analyst to reveal the upcoming introduction of a LinkedIn Advertising API. The public Ads API intends to lure marketing agencies and brands to ease up the increase in their media buys on the platform. Even though he declined to mention an exact date, Weiner said it is a high priority for LinkedIn.
In addition, he said the introduction of the set of APIs will help marketing agencies in their social media campaigns and make the most of the platform.
LinkedIn currently provides an Ads API in a limited release that consist of four exclusive private partners: Adobe, Bizo, Unified, and AdStage. The launch of a public advertising API will show its sincerity to generate more revenue from advertisements through a broader client base.
An unrestricted advertising API will allow companies to make media buys without difficulty. In particular, it will mean that social media marketing and advertising firms can associate with LinkedIn. Thus, the social networking company will be incorporated into bigger media buys made in its platform through the firms.
Hot on the heels of the introduction of the Twitter Ads API in February 2013, and the Facebook Ads API in 2011, the set of LinkedIn Ads APIs means not only marketers and advertisers, but also users, will see the addition of more advertising units in their pages.
For now, LinkedIn is not yet so eager about revealing the revenue it generates from its limited advertising API. The company has no clear classification for ads revenue in its Marketing Solutions division. In the earnings call for the second quarter of 2013, LinkedIn's Marketing Solutions accounted for 24 percent of its total revenue of $364 million.
With the company's number of users and set of features on the rise, such as improved home pages with more content and a better search engine, LinkedIn has plenty of room for its ads revenue to increase.
LinkedIn is still fresh from introducing advertising on its mobile applications across multiple smartphone platforms. Mobile advertising now accounts for more than 33 percent of the company's total traffic. If its mobile apps flourish, it will boost LinkedIn's total ad revenue.