Forget Tom and Katie, Twitter is leaving LinkedIn


Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ split up is stealing the headlines today, but perhaps a more significant divorce is happening in the tech world: Twitter is leaving LinkedIn.

And by leaving, I mean leaving it without content.

Twitter reiterated on its blog Friday that it is no longer allowing third-party developers to use its content in ways that mimic the main Twitter experience. The post seemed a little curious, since Twitter announced the same thing early last year, but a while later LinkedIn posted a blog of its own announcing that it will no longer display tweets, to comply with Twitter’s policy.

That’s bad news for LinkedIn, since so much of its users’ content comes from Twitter, but we’ll get to that in a bit.


LinkedIn, which noted its partnership with Twitter goes back to 2009, tries its best in the blog to reassure users the end isn’t nigh. The social network for professionals emphasizes that while you can no longer connect your tweets to LinkedIn, you can share your LinkedIn posts over at Twitter.

That’s a nice supplement, but not many people use LinkedIn to share or take in content. That means most people won’t even notice this change, and the ones who do are going to be left with fewer reasons to come back to LinkedIn.

LinkedIn reassures that “there will be no other changes to your LinkedIn experience,” but the sad truth is that reading the occasional tweet and posting mine from Twitter were pretty much my entire LinkedIn experience.

How much of LinkedIn comes from Twitter? Well this isn’t scientific, but when I opened up the site, four of the first seven items shown were tweets. Two were connections that were made and just one was an actual post on LinkedIn.

The reason Twitter is forcing third parties to stop mimicking its content is because the company wants to emphasize a “core Twitter consumption experience,” meaning it wants you to visit its site more often.

Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, recently said the company wants more developers to build their apps into Twitter, and the blog says the company wants to run apps within Tweets. Real-life practice of this came earlier this month when Twitter added more types of content that can be viewed through what it calls “expanded tweets.”


“These are the features that bring people closer to the things they care about,” the blog’s author wrote. “These are the features that make Twitter Twitter.”

This makes sense for Twitter. It’s one of the top social networks, and its users create a ton of content.

But the company -- which for a long time has given off the image of the cute, innocent baby brother of the social networks -- is looking bad in this situation, because it is no longer letting its app developers export their content in mimicking ways to other apps or sites, yet it still wants you to post your tweets to Facebook. In the settings menu, Twitter emphasizes sharing on Facebook in your profile section. This gives the appearance that Twitter has a double standard.

At the end of the day, LinkedIn is simply going to have to move on, continue to emphasize its strength -- being the premier source of online social business connections -- and find a way to get more people to start posting on LinkedIn.

And if you are among those who do want to share your posts from LinkedIn to Twitter, the company says when you make a post, put a check mark in the Twitter box when hitting “Share,” and that will do the trick.



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