Twitter, LinkedIn Join Forces

LinkedIn, the business-oriented social network, has teamed up with short-messaging phenom Twitter to couple the features of the two services and provide a broader distribution channel for people’s professional activities.

“The business use case of Twitter is turning out to be very important,” Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said in a video explaining the tie-up. “More and more people are finding the persona they create for themselves on the Web is part of their resume.”

The partnership aims to create a two-way flow of information between the two social services, so a status update a user posts on his LinkedIn account would be automatically sent out as a tweet, and vice versa.

Recognizing that some users wouldn’t want every tweet they send out showing up on their LinkedIn profile, the companies are offering the option to limit that feature to tweets that include the hashtags #in or #li.

They said the option to sync up a Twitter account would be appearing across users’ LinkedIn profiles over the next few days.

LinkedIn’s partnership builds on the growing interest in Twitter as a vehicle for connecting instantly with a broad audience. That same urgency gave rise to partnerships between Twitter and both Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which recently announced plans to layer in the tweets from a person’s network in its search results.

In the case of LinkedIn, the tie-up has a more professional bent. Users frequently take to LinkedIn to pose questions to their network, asking for things like recommendations for a contractor they are looking to hire.

Syncing up with a Twitter account will automatically send those queries out to another, potentially larger, audience.

LinkedIn Executive Chairman Reid Hoffman also touted the partnership as an acknowledgement that online forces like Twitter are moving into the mainstream, representing a significant extension of people’s professional identity.

“For each individual professional, it’s a good idea to say ‘what’s your Twitter brand strategy?'” Hoffman said.

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