An open letter on LinkedIn Integration

Guy Suter
Guy Suter

The following open letter to our customers explains the unfortunate discontinuation of Nutshell’s integration with LinkedIn.

Update, April 23, 2014

Our competition at Zoho and Capsule have also been #LinkedOut. We continue to hope that LinkedIn will reverse their API shutdown.***

Dear Nutshell customers,

Thank you so much for using Nutshell.

Five years ago, we set out to create an intuitive and enjoyable CRM platform because we believe business tools deserve high quality fit-and-polish and experience design.

Our usability focus led us to integrate with some of the best applications in the world. In 2011, we were among the first to enter the Google Apps marketplace. Today, we integrate with many premier services including Zendesk, MailChip, Olark, Zapier, and more.

We have always been strong believers in open APIs and full access to your data. We launched Nutshell with an open and documented API. Given this commitment to open access, it is with deep regret that I must inform you Nutshell’s integration with LinkedIn is being terminated.

LinkedIn is the world’s best platform for professional connections. I am personally a huge fan and avid user. Early at Nutshell, we noticed people often reference LinkedIn throughout the sales process. We wanted to make it even easier for Nutshell users to find and go to LinkedIn profiles.

Nutshell quickly became one of the first CRMs with this type of integration under LinkedIn’s developer program. We took special care to follow LinkedIn’s terms, including demoing our integration to them directly. We are proud of how this integration adds usability benefits and promotes LinkedIn’s platform to our users.

Since our original integration, LinkedIn expanded their partner program’s definitions and terms. A few weeks ago, Nutshell received this notice from LinkedIn’s API Review Team:

After a review, we believe that your product(s) (Nutshell CRM) violates LinkedIn’s API Terms of Use. In accordance with Section I.C, you are required to be accepted into a LinkedIn Partner Program in order to use our APIs for applications that are 'used for hiring, marketing, or sales.'

We immediately applied for LinkedIn’s CRM partner program and contacted the API Review Team requesting compliance direction. The response we received both surprised and disappointed us:

We discussed your application with the team reviewing API partnerships. At this time, LinkedIn is not taking on new partners in the Sales category. We are looking at ways to support these types of integrations in the future, but cannot do so today. As a result, we see no path forward for you to continue using our APIs at this time.

LinkedIn’s partner program currently lists only two CRM partners (Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce). As a result, I am very sad to tell you we have no choice but to end our current LinkedIn product integration until this policy is revised.

We are eager for LinkedIn to accept new CRM partners and would be thrilled to join.

If you want to help us, please send an email to LinkedIn.

You can also send a tweet to LinkedIn and ask them to open up their APIs:

Meanwhile, you have our commitment to continue making the most elegant, open product we can. We will continue all efforts possible to become an official LinkedIn CRM partner and resume this integration. Many exciting additions and new features are in the works and we are looking forward to sharing them with you soon. Next week, we will be showcasing Nutshell at the South By Southwest Expo, booth #300. Please stop by and see us if you are attending the show.


Guy Suter


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