The fate of the WP-LinkedIn WordPress plugin after May 12

If you are a user of the WP-LinkedIn WordPress plugin and have registered with the LinkedIn API, you probably already received an email from them about the changes to their developer program and are wondering how this is going to affect you.

The short answer is “badly”. Starting on May 12 you will not be able to display your full LinkedIn profile and your recommendations, and you will only have access to your basic profile. Also, showing your network updates will not work anymore.

What is changing?

If you haven’t already I recommend you read those two articles on the LinkedIn Developers’ blog:

Technically, the API won’t change, however they will restrict the set of permissions that can be granted to access the data. Those who still want to get access to their full profile will need to apply to one of LinkedIn’s partnership programs. But when I applied, for this blog, to one of the programs here’s the answer I received:

This API, Apply With LinkedIn, is intended for you to use on a company’s career site, to help candidates easily apply for jobs at your company. Please note that applicants requesting access to this data for any reasons other than this purpose will not be accepted.

On further inquiry they confirmed that I will not be able to get access to my full profile through the API anymore.

The API program is changing in the ways you mentioned and for the reasons mentioned in our blog, While we do know it will adversely affect some members it will be a positive change overall.

Basically, LinkedIn is doing the same thing that Twitter did, they restrict access to their API for the developers who don’t bring enough value to their platform (read “traffic”). The fact that this data belongs to you in the first place doesn’t really mater.

What can you do?

You can file a complaint through LinkedIn customers support but I doubt this will help.

What can I do?

Not much, on May 12 I will release version 2 of the plugin that will take those changes into consideration. By default you will only be able to see your basic profile information (see here for a list of what fields we are talking about).

To be able to see your full profile, which includes your recommendations, you will have to apply and be accepted in one their partnership programs. And there’s no access anymore to your personal network updates.

In theory you will still have full access until your access token expires but the new version will need that you request a new token so you probably can hold off to update to the new version until your token expires but I don’t recommend it. Instead (and that’s what I am going to do here) save the HTML which is now generated by the plugin and replace the shortcodes. It will not be dynamic anymore but it will still be here.

How does that affect the multi-users extension?

It doesn’t, this extension will still work the same, but users’ profiles will be limited, as explained earlier.

How does that affect the company extension?

Fortunately, it seems that it will not be affected much. The only new thing is that to show a company profile the plugin must request a new kind of permissions (you will need to request a new token after you updated this plugin) and that you will be restricted to the data of company pages that are administered by the LinkedIn user you used to connect the plugin.

If you have remarks or questions do not hesitate to add a comment.

Image Credits: Sheila Scarborough

21 thoughts on “The fate of the WP-LinkedIn WordPress plugin after May 12

    1. Claude Vedovini Post author

      Thanks for the hint, I will try it out but they clearly stated that the full profile is only accessible through the “Apply with LinkedIn” program, so I don’t have much hope. I will keep everyone updated here.

  1. danrossiters

    I understand it’s much less desirable (both because it’s slower and less robust), but have you considered page scraping the LI profiles? This would give everything needing and if heavily cached it wouldn’t cause a significant performance hit.

      1. danrossiters

        Ah! You are correct. Shame.
        “You agree not to… Scrape or copy profiles and information of others through any means (including crawlers, browser plugins and add-ons, and any other technology or manual work);”

  2. danrossiters

    As an addendum to my pervious page-scraping comment, you would not even need to scrape everything — just the parts no longer returned through the API (recommendations, etc). That would actually be pretty straightforward to implement. You’d have to ask for two forms of auth from the user — API keys and username/password for scraping, but that’s not a big deal and if only given the API keys the plugin can just perform the subset of functionality possible with just the API :)

    Just my 2 cents!

  3. Justin

    I was traveling and didn’t grab a copy of my profile HTML from my page before the API changed but was able to recover it using are somewhat recent snapshot. The only change required was fixing the image for my profile.

  4. April

    This sucks. I found this thinking something was wrong. I wish I had not bothered updating my API. I should have continued to ignore that message in WP. Grrrrr.

    Why in the world won’t they allow us to display our linkedIn recommendations on our online resume? I loved that feature!

      1. Philip Harding

        ‘If it’s free then you are the product.’ Haha! How delightfully Orwellian.

        Secretly, I’ve never liked Linkedin one bit. But at least they’re more honest about their greed than say FB.

  5. Steve Holloway

    Hi Claude,

    Sad to see your plug-in being deprecated due to closed minded capitalism.

    My profile isn’t displaying positions – it just displays the summary. I’ve got positions specified on the LinkedIn options and it looks like positions is one of the Basic LinkedIn Profile fields.

    Should I be able to view positions on my WordPress site, post API changes?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Claude Vedovini Post author

      That post explains why you can only see part of your profile. Since May 12 LinkedIn only returns your “basic” profile and you only get your current positions. As explained in the post you need to apply to one of LinkedIn partners program if you want to get access to your full profile.

  6. Mamen Calatrava

    Hi Claude,
    I am wondering how you managed to display your entire LinkedIn info in your About page. LinkedIn has just sent me an email saying that they do not grant me access to my Full Profile Fields.
    Did you insert your LinkedIn info manually?
    Thanks in advance!

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