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"What we are trying to do is make professionals more productive by making them able to find one another, learn more about each other and communicate efficiently with each other," LinkedIn Chief Executive Dan Nye said in an interview. "It's not a place where you waste two hours of your time trying to find a date."
Nye declined comment on the rumors and said, "We believe we're building a company that's changing the world. We are very excited about doing it independently."
The launch is part of a broad plan to revamp the service to fend off larger rivals such as Facebook. To do so, LinkedIn will also borrow popular ideas such as Facebook's "News Feeds" that will spell out the daily activities of their contacts as well as drag in relevant news stories from 10,000 publishers and blogs, the company said.
One analyst said LinkedIn's approach to developers would likely help assure quality control to the types of applications that would appeal to niches of users within the network. That's in contrast to Facebook, whose thousands of developers since it threw open its doors to outside program writers earlier this year have flooded the service with software that spans the gamut from useful communications tools to silly time wasters, such as giving users the ability to throw software farm animals at each other. "I do think this platform will be a success," Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang said.
But Owyang said LinkedIn's bid to make its homepage a daily stop for business users faces challenges: "People still think of it as a network utility and they're trying to be a daily information portal."