LinkedIn Adds Developer Attribution for Creative Platforms

LinkedIn has announced a few upgrades to its developer platform, which connects publishers and other companies to the professional networking site. One notable addition was the inclusion of attributions for developers, marked with a “via,” when users share a link from the site on LinkedIn.

Not all developers will qualify, however. From the Partner Programs page, here are the criteria:

LinkedIn will offer certain applications leveraging the Share API the ability to include attribution in the form of a hyperlink to a preferred landing page. To be considered for this program, qualifying applications should have a minimum of 1 million users. The application must also allow users to create diverse and high quality content, to share high quality content, and/or post high quality status updates or comments. Qualifying applications will also give users the option to Sign in with LinkedIn or bind their LinkedIn account.

The company had an example of what this looks like:

As a reader, I was confused by the attribution to WordPress rather than the fictional “product gal” blog. It’s not that I don’t like the blogging platform — SocialTimes is, in fact, a WordPress blog — but I had thought of it as more of a white-label service, not a publisher in itself. But a visit to the site revealed an aggregated homepage full of headlines from WordPress’ top blogs.

That’s when I realized that WordPress was referring to itself as a creative platform, and it’s not the first site like that to push for attribution. In June, Pinterest started automatically attributing pins found on Etsy, Kickstarter, 500px, Slideshare, and SoundCloud.

In an age where success is measured in page views, and where platforms are destinations for creating content as much as they are vessels for content to be carried away to other sites, it’s understandable that these developers would like a credit, especially on LinkedIn, where professionals are posting links to their work.

Behance, another early tester of the attribution feature, is a good example of why attribution is appropriate. The design community hosts a vast collection of creative portfolios for exploring and sharing, which makes it a valuable resource for both the designers and the companies that need talent. When community members post a link to their portfolios like the one below, the reader will be redirected to their page on Behance. The only difference is that now Behance gets a credit as well as the designer.

Behance CEO Scott Belsky spoke at our Social Curation Summit on July 31, where he said that when it comes to connecting creative people to new projects, “discovery will someday outweigh referral.”

If this is true, developers of creative platforms will have even more reason to ask for a byline of their own.

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