When LinkedIn met the Fortune 500

May 6, 2011

This belongs to a series of posts on how websites like Fortune are integrating LinkedIn functionality. Here’s Daniel Roth, Editor, FortuneDigital, on the recent integration of LinkedIn’s APIs into the Fortune 500 web app. – Ed.

Yesterday, the Fortune 500+ Web app went live. The program takes our annual Fortune 500 list -- the foremost method for ranking business -- and turns it into a vital tool for doing business. Users can target 1,000 of the biggest companies in the U.S., find the right ones to meet with, track breaking news and Twitter traffic, and build, map and share lists of prospects.

All of those features we knew we wanted when we started building this app in the fall of 2010. But the one offering we knew we had to have was some way to let users discover who they knew at each company.

And that’s where LinkedIn -- and the LinkedIn APIs -- proved so essential. Working with LinkedIn’s Adam Nash, Adam Trachtenberg, Jeremy Johnstone, and Rohan Verma, the Time Inc. developers were able create an HTML5 Web app that can scour a 1,000-company list and get instant snapshots of employee counts. Before users even pick companies they want to connect with, they can scan to find which companies they have the best shot at getting in the door with. Then users can generate custom screens of contacts, filtering by 1st- and 2nd-degree connections.

So imagine a busy salesperson is traveling through Los Angeles and wants to meet with every company in his industry that might just buy his widgets. Using our app and LinkedIn’s network, he can find the best companies, determine who he knows there and, using Fortune’s corporate reporting and Google News, become an instant expert.

Even better, this is just the beginning. Our developers are busy investigating all of the other APIs at LinkedIn that will allow us to keep making this app more functional and more essential. Come check out the Fortune 500+ Web app at fortune.com/500plus and let us know what you’d like to see in the next version or how, working with LinkedIn, we can add new capabilities.