LinkedIn API Implementation: Building Social Login for Your Website

LinkedIn provides an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows developers to access certain features and data from the LinkedIn platform programmatically. An API is essentially a set of rules and protocols that allows different software applications to communicate with each other.

The LinkedIn API enables developers to integrate LinkedIn functionalities into their own applications or services, which can be used for a variety of purposes. Some common use cases for the LinkedIn API include:

  1. Authentication: Developers can use the LinkedIn API to enable users to log in to their applications using their LinkedIn credentials, providing a seamless login experience.
  2. Profile information: With the API, developers can retrieve basic user profile data, such as name, profile picture, headline, and work experience, which can be used to personalize the user experience within their application.
  3. Company data: The API allows access to information about companies, including their profiles, descriptions, and other details. This can be useful for incorporating company data into business-oriented applications.
  4. Networking: LinkedIn’s API allows developers to access user connections and their activities, facilitating social networking features within an application.
  5. Job postings: Developers can retrieve job listings from LinkedIn, allowing them to display relevant job opportunities within their application.

It’s important to note that the LinkedIn API has its own set of rules and restrictions, as outlined in LinkedIn’s Developer Agreement and API Terms of Use. Access to the API is often subject to approval and may require adherence to certain usage quotas and guidelines.

Below is a simple example of how to use JavaScript to authenticate a user using the LinkedIn API and retrieve their basic profile information.

Before you start, make sure you have a LinkedIn Developer account, and you’ve created a new app to get the necessary API keys and secrets.


<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>LinkedIn API Example</title>
    <button id="login-button">Login with LinkedIn</button>
    <div id="profile-info"></div>
    <script src="script.js"></script>

JavaScript (script.js)

// Replace YOUR_API_KEY with your LinkedIn API Client ID
const REDIRECT_URI = "http://localhost:8000"; // Replace with your redirect URL

// Function to open LinkedIn authentication popup
function linkedInLogin() {
  const url = `${API_KEY}&redirect_uri=${REDIRECT_URI}&scope=r_liteprofile`;

  const width = 600;
  const height = 400;
  const left = window.screen.width / 2 - width / 2;
  const top = window.screen.height / 2 - height / 2;
  const popup =

  window.addEventListener("message", (event) => {
    if (event.origin === window.location.origin && === "linkedin-auth") {
      // Retrieve the authorization code from the popup
      const code =;
      // Now that you have the code, you can make a server-side request to LinkedIn API for the user's profile data

// Function to fetch the user's profile data using the authorization code
function getUserProfileData(code) {
  // Replace YOUR_API_SECRET with your LinkedIn API Client Secret
  const url = `${code}&client_id=${API_KEY}&client_secret=${API_SECRET}&redirect_uri=${REDIRECT_URI}`;

  fetch(url, { method: "POST" })
    .then((response) => response.json())
    .then((data) => {
      // Access token received
      const accessToken = data.access_token;
      // Use the access token to fetch the user's basic profile data
      fetch("", {
        headers: {
          Authorization: `Bearer ${accessToken}`,
        .then((response) => response.json())
        .then((profileData) => {
        .catch((error) => console.error("Error fetching profile data:", error));
    .catch((error) => console.error("Error getting access token:", error));

// Function to display the user's profile data on the page
function displayUserProfile(profileData) {
  const profileInfoDiv = document.getElementById("profile-info");
  profileInfoDiv.innerHTML = `
    <h2>Welcome, ${profileData.localizedFirstName} ${profileData.localizedLastName}!</h2>
    <p>Headline: ${profileData.headline}</p>
    <p>Profile Picture: <img src="${profileData.profilePicture.displayImage}" alt="Profile Picture" width="100"></p>

document.getElementById("login-button").addEventListener("click", linkedInLogin);

Note: This example focuses on client-side authentication for simplicity. In a production environment, it is recommended to perform server-side authentication and handle sensitive data securely. Additionally, make sure to replace “YOUR_API_KEY” and “YOUR_API_SECRET” with your actual LinkedIn API credentials.

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