Intelligent ApplicationsThe Intelligent Applications, or InApps, platform was created to bring useful business-focused applications to professionals -- this is LinkedIn we are talking about, after all. The reason for the platform is the desire to have LinkedIn users actually use the site. The site can't generate money if their community doesn't stick around all that much, right? Seriously, how often does the typical member actually visit LinkedIn? Less than a dozen times per year? Either way, LinkedIn is hoping that this platform will change that. “Our audience is a professional audience, it’s not the typical social network audience,” stated Jamie Templeton, LinkedIn’s VP of platform products. “They don’t want noise.” In other words, Mr. Templeton wants these applications to be useful, not the typical in-your-face blinking, buzzing and attention-whoring applications that are far too numerous these days. The LinkedIn crowd is certainly a more professional audience that needs special treatment. Hopefully the application developers can live up to expectations. The applications are visible on a user's profile. While they can be viewed by others, they are not required to be installed by other profile viewers, which was a serious problem with Facebook's applications. Another difference is that LinkedIn is going to have plenty of control over the applications. This should ensure that only quality applications enter the InApps platform. Additionally, the applications are limited to running LinkedIn's advertising system. This is good for LinkedIn, but might end up frustrating some third-parties.
Nearly a dozen InApps are already available
From the few applications that are already available, it looks fairly promising.
Huddle Launches First Team Management AppOne example of a useful application that has arrived for the InApps platform is Huddle Workspaces. One of the first developers -- and the only European-based company -- for LinkIn's OpenSocial platform now provides project management via startup Huddle.net.
Huddle Workspaces on LinkedIn
Huddle Workspaces functions inside LinkedIn's service with most of the functionality of the main service brought over. Those users that have an existing Huddle account can then link that account to the InApps version to see all existing workspaces as well. After installing Huddle Workspaces, users have a workspace created that allows them to begin uploading, creating and sharing files with other LinkedIn connections. In addition, users can hold discussions and invite LinkedIn connections to collaborate on Huddle projects. In the end though, Huddle Workspaces could be considered as Huddle lite, a functional version designed to operate specifically within LinkedIn's application platform. Have a LinkedIn account? Log in and click on the applications section to get started with Huddle Workspaces or any of the other available InApps.