Today, LinkedIn will make it official: it’s in the advertising business. The business-centric social network still reaps the majority of its revenue from recruitment-related products, but that majority should dwindle as LinkedIn blows open its ad platform. That’s because the company is rolling out a program for marketing firms to build out tools to manage LinkedIn ad campaigns for brands.
An ads API sounds pretty wonky, so let’s break down what this news means. Until now, advertisers had to log in to LinkedIn’s self-serve platform to run campaigns on the platform, which gives marketers control over their campaigns but doesn’t exactly promote ease of use or scale. It’s like making pancakes from scratch as opposed to having Aunt Jemima do the dirty work and just adding water. Through the API, companies like Adobe, Bizo and Unified—three marketing firms with access at launch—can build and add LinkedIn advertising capabilities to their own platforms so that brands can essentially plug and play.