LinkedIn’s API allows developers to access LinkedIn’s platform and data to build applications. There are two main LinkedIn APIs – the LinkedIn API and the LinkedIn Ads API. The access to these APIs and the associated pricing models differ.
The LinkedIn API provides access to LinkedIn’s core functionality like profiles, connections, companies, jobs, groups, posts, messaging etc. This API was previously known as LinkedIn REST API.
Access to the LinkedIn API is free for basic usage but LinkedIn enforces request throttling and usage limits on free access. To go beyond these limits, LinkedIn provides paid plans for the API:
- Basic – Free with usage limits
- Standard – $29.99 per month with higher limits
- Plus – $59.99 per month with even higher limits
- Business – Custom pricing with highest limits
The main differences in the plans are the higher rate and call limits. So if your application needs to make a large number of API calls, you would need a paid plan.
Some key aspects of LinkedIn’s API pricing:
- Monthly subscription plans based on usage needs
- Requests counted on daily and hourly bases
- Higher-tier plans have higher rate limits
- Business plan has custom pricing negotiated with LinkedIn
LinkedIn API Rate Limits
|Daily Request Limit
|Hourly Request Limit
So in summary, the LinkedIn API does require paid plans if you need to make more than a basic level of requests. The paid plans provide higher rate limits and are required for any significant usage.
LinkedIn Ads API
The LinkedIn Ads API provides programmatic access to LinkedIn advertising products like Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail etc. This allows automating campaigns, targeting, creatives etc.
Access to the LinkedIn Ads API requires approval from LinkedIn. It is primarily meant for LinkedIn Marketing Developer Partners who build apps for advertisers. Access is not directly paid but requires a formal partnership.
Key aspects of LinkedIn Ads API access:
- Requires approval and formal partnership
- Not directly paid but partners may charge advertisers
- Provides programmatic access to LinkedIn advertising
- Allows automating campaigns, targeting, tracking etc.
So the LinkedIn Ads API is not directly paid. But access is restricted only to selected partners. It is not openly available like the main LinkedIn API.
- The LinkedIn API requires paid plans for any significant usage beyond basic limits
- Higher-tier monthly plans provide higher rate limits
- The LinkedIn Ads API is restricted only to selected partners
- Partners may charge advertisers to access the Ads API to automate campaigns
- So LinkedIn does monetize API access either via direct fees or partner fees
- But basic access is free up to a limit for the main API
The pricing and access models for the APIs ensure that LinkedIn can monetize the value of its platform and data assets. For developers and partners, LinkedIn APIs provide an extensive opportunity to build solutions leveraging LinkedIn’s rich data.
Some other key points about LinkedIn’s APIs:
LinkedIn API Use Cases
Here are some common use cases of LinkedIn’s APIs:
- Profile data for business intelligence
- Building Chrome extensions utilizing LinkedIn data
- LinkedIn analytics and reporting
- Recruitment and talent management applications
- Social media management and marketing
- Ad retargeting based on LinkedIn data
- LinkedIn automations and bots
Top LinkedIn API Features
Here are some of the most popular features of LinkedIn’s APIs:
- User profiles and connections
- Company profiles and employee data
- Jobs and talent pool data
- Interests, Groups, Posts data
- Authenticated user data
- Content shares and social actions
- Sponsored Content ad management
- InMail and messaging
LinkedIn API Wrappers
Here are some popular programming language wrappers and libraries for LinkedIn’s API:
These wrappers make it easier to work with LinkedIn’s APIs in various languages.
LinkedIn API Authentication
To use LinkedIn’s APIs, applications need to authenticate and obtain access tokens. The main authentication modes supported are:
- OAuth 2.0 – For requesting data about the authenticated member
- User-based – For reading public LinkedIn data
- Application-based – For read-only app access without user context
OAuth 2.0 is the recommended approach for most API uses involving an authenticated member. Access tokens need to be refreshed frequently.
LinkedIn API Best Practices
Here are some recommended best practices for working with LinkedIn’s APIs:
- Start with necessary API permissions and evolve access
- Use rate limiting intelligently to avoid disruptions
- Follow LinkedIn’s terms of service and user data policies
- Leverage wrappers/libraries instead of directly calling APIs
- Use proper error handling and retry mechanisms
- Monitor API usage carefully during development
- Consider caching API data where possible
LinkedIn API Error Codes
LinkedIn uses standard HTTP status codes for errors, along with some LinkedIn-specific error codes. Some examples are:
- 400 – Bad request
- 401 – Unauthorized
- 403 – Forbidden
- 404 – Not found
- 429 – Too many requests
- 500 – Internal server error
- 502 – Bad gateway
- 503 – Service unavailable
- 1 – Invalid API request
- 2 – Access denied
Handling these errors and retrying requests is important when working with LinkedIn’s APIs.
Third-Party LinkedIn API Tools
In addition to LinkedIn’s official API offerings, there are also third-party services that provide API access to LinkedIn data. Some examples:
- Dux-Soup – Web scraper for LinkedIn data
- Phantombuster – Automated LinkedIn API requests
- Hunter.io – Find email addresses from LinkedIn pages
- Lusha – Chrome extension for LinkedIn data
- Seamless.ai – Lead enrichment from LinkedIn
These tools provide alternative methods to access LinkedIn data, sometimes scraping publicly viewable information.
In summary, LinkedIn provides robust and powerful APIs to build applications leveraging its platform and data. Proper use of rate limits, authentications, and error handling is needed to successfully integrate with LinkedIn APIs.