LinkedIn API—Python Libraries, Official APIs, and More

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Authors
Clay Team
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Date
May 10, 2024

If you want to use LinkedIn for lead generation or other aspects of your outreach campaigns, you have several options. One highly popular one is leveraging the LinkedIn API using Python—especially among developers.

In this guide, you’ll learn about several solutions, including official and third-party APIs. We’ll discuss what you can do, how to access them, and what the downsides are. 

As we’ve helped thousands of sales pros take full advantage of LinkedIn’s prospecting capabilities, we’ll also show you an approach many of them prefer over API usage.

Official LinkedIn APIs—A Quick Overview

LinkedIn offers a suite of APIs that let developers perform various tasks. The following table shows some of the most popular ones and their use cases:

API Use Case
Profile API Retrieving a member’s LinkedIn profile and basic data
Share API Letting authenticated users share content on LinkedIn
Connections API Obtaining a list of a user’s 1st-degree connections
Advertising API Tracking and optimizing LinkedIn ad campaigns
Job Posting API Posting basic and promoted job listings on LinkedIn

If you’re looking to streamline your outreach workflow with LinkedIn, the most compelling APIs might be those related to LinkedIn profiles and connections. Unfortunately, not everyone can access them.

Who Can Use LinkedIn APIs?

LinkedIn initially made APIs publicly available, but this is no longer the case—you now need to be a part of the LinkedIn Partner Program to access them. There are currently four programs you can enroll in:

  1. Marketing Developer Program
  2. Sales Navigator Solutions
  3. Talent Solutions Partnership
  4. LinkedIn Learning Partner Program

You can become a partner and request API access by visiting the LinkedIn Developers page and creating an app.

You’ll see a form you need to fill out, which depends on the specific program you want to join. When you do, you need to wait for the approval, and LinkedIn will notify you of the outcome via email. If you’re accepted, you can request access to specific APIs.

Note that you might not get access to all the APIs you wish to use. Some of them are private, which means you need to submit additional requests after you’ve enrolled in your chosen program. This makes the process quite laborious, and you might have to wait for quite a while before you can use APIs. Worse yet, the wait and effort may not be worth it.

Source: LinkedIn Developers

Limitations of LinkedIn APIs

If you plan on using LinkedIn APIs to extract the information you need to execute effective campaigns, you might be disappointed with your options. LinkedIn is highly protective of users’ data, so its APIs come with various limitations.

Take the Profile API as an example. You can only get profile data from authenticated members, and you need their permission to obtain it. This means there’s virtually no way of gathering data at scale.

The connection API is equally limited. Lists of 1st-degree connections are subject to a user’s privacy settings, which means you can’t obtain everyone’s data. You also can’t access 2nd-degree connections at all, which further narrows your prospect pool.

With all of the above in mind, it’s clear that LinkedIn’s official APIs aren’t the best option for prospecting and lead generation. To circumvent their limitations, marketing and sales pros sometimes use third-party APIs instead.

Source: LinkedIn

Pros and Cons of Third-Party LinkedIn APIs

You can find numerous Python libraries dedicated to LinkedIn APIs made by independent developers. Some are used in tandem with official APIs to provide a pure Python interface that lets you make requests more easily. Other don’t require access to official APIs at all—they let you directly perform various tasks, such as:

There are also comprehensive third-party APIs from platforms like PhantomBuster or People Data Labs, specifically tailored to tasks like LinkedIn automation and data scraping.

While such APIs might be better suited for marketing and sales-focused tasks, most of them suffer from significant disadvantages.

The first and most notable one is the risk of having your account blocked. While scraping LinkedIn data is technically legal (as long as you stick to public data), it’s still frowned upon by the platform. LinkedIn has various protective measures to detect unwanted traffic, and evading them requires lots of additional work.

Another drawback is challenging implementation. Using LinkedIn APIs with or without Python requires an extensive coding background, so this option is reserved for seasoned developers. Even if you’re among them, there’s a much easier way to get all the data you need and streamline various LinkedIn processes—using a dedicated platform.

💡 Bonus read: Check out these tried and tested LinkedIn scrapers and find the most effective one.

Why You Should Use a LinkedIn Scraping and Automation Platform

Using APIs isn’t the only way to integrate LinkedIn into your workflow. In fact, it might not even be the best one in many cases. If you’re in the market for a solution that lets you simplify LinkedIn prospecting and outreach campaigns as a whole, commercial LinkedIn scraping and automation platforms are a better option for three reasons:

  1. ⚡ Ease of use—You can find various no-code platforms that handle the heavy lifting, ensuring you get the data you need without much effort
  2. 💻 Accessibility—Anyone in your team can use a ready-made LinkedIn scraper, so it’s not reserved for developers
  3. 🔒 Safety—Many commercial scraping and automation platforms come with a significantly lower risk of your LinkedIn account or IP address being banned

Note that the above benefits don’t apply to every platform. Many tools are quite technical or might come at a hefty price that doesn’t justify their features. If you need a solution that offers outstanding value for money and lets you uplevel your LinkedIn game, Clay can be a perfect option

👉 Extra tip: Still want to try out platforms like People Data Labs and PhantomBuster? No problem—Clay seamlessly integrates with both!

Streamline Your Workflow With Clay

Clay is a comprehensive data enrichment and sales automation platform that lets you find virtually all the data points you need for effective outbound campaigns.

If you don’t have any leads yet, you can pull companies an people from scratch in Clay. Define your search criteria, and you’ll get an abundant list in no time. Clay connects with 50+ data providers, letting you enrich your lead list with crucial data, such as:

  • 📞 Contact details (emails, phone numbers, etc.)
  • ⭐ Skills, experience, awards, and other info

Ask Clay for the information you need, and it will find data points through waterfall enrichment. This revolutionary data enrichment process involves browsing providers one by one until the platform finds your chosen data.

To further simplify your workflow, Clay offers dozens of templates with pre-built tables designed for specific tasks. If you want to scrape LinkedIn pages as you visit them (or any other page, for that matter), use Clay’s Chrome extension. It lets you extract structured data in no more than a few clicks, so you don’t need to deal with APIs or coding. 

Let Clay’s AI Take Over Manual Work

Whether you need answers to specific questions or want to streamline research and other tasks, Clay offers a capable AI assistant that is up to the task—Claygent. It can scrape any corner of the web through a simple prompt, eliminating the need for manual searches. 🧠

Source: Clay

Claygent isn’t the only way you can leverage AI to create a cohesive workflow. Once you have the data you need, you can fire up Clay’s AI Email Builder to draft hyper-personalized emails in seconds. It automatically pulls from your Clay table to write compelling messages, automating entire email sequences at scale. 🚀

When your emails are ready, you can push them to your sequencer and start executing your campaign. Clay integrates with over 100 popular solutions—including well-known CRM platforms and sales execution tools—so it can seamlessly fit into your current workflow.

If these features sound appealing, you can give them a test run through Clay’s robust free plan. It lets you explore some of the platform’s main capabilities and decide whether it’s the right option for you. If you decide to upgrade, you can choose from four paid tiers:

Plan Cost
Starter $149/month
Explored $349/month
Pro $800/month
Enterprise Custom

Thanks to the aforementioned waterfall enrichment, you can get the most out of every dollar you invest. You only pay once Clay finds the data you need, so there’s no wasted money.

All of the above makes Clay the top choice of many marketing and sales teams. Don’t take our word for it—here’s what some of them had to say:

Source: Clay Wall of Love

Create Your Free Clay Account

If you want the easiest way to prospect companies and people, you can get started with Clay in three steps:

  1. Go to the signup page 🖥️
  2. Enter your name, email, and password 🔑
  3. Explore Clay’s scraping and enrichment features 🛠️

Need more info to decide if Clay’s for you? Visit the platform’s University and join the growing Slack community to see the results others are getting with it. You can also sign up for Clay’s newsletter for updates and tips on getting the most out of your outreach campaigns.

💡 Keep reading: Want to learn more about using LinkedIn in your outbound efforts? Check out these articles:

If you want to use LinkedIn for lead generation or other aspects of your outreach campaigns, you have several options. One highly popular one is leveraging the LinkedIn API using Python—especially among developers.

In this guide, you’ll learn about several solutions, including official and third-party APIs. We’ll discuss what you can do, how to access them, and what the downsides are. 

As we’ve helped thousands of sales pros take full advantage of LinkedIn’s prospecting capabilities, we’ll also show you an approach many of them prefer over API usage.

Official LinkedIn APIs—A Quick Overview

LinkedIn offers a suite of APIs that let developers perform various tasks. The following table shows some of the most popular ones and their use cases:

API Use Case
Profile API Retrieving a member’s LinkedIn profile and basic data
Share API Letting authenticated users share content on LinkedIn
Connections API Obtaining a list of a user’s 1st-degree connections
Advertising API Tracking and optimizing LinkedIn ad campaigns
Job Posting API Posting basic and promoted job listings on LinkedIn

If you’re looking to streamline your outreach workflow with LinkedIn, the most compelling APIs might be those related to LinkedIn profiles and connections. Unfortunately, not everyone can access them.

Who Can Use LinkedIn APIs?

LinkedIn initially made APIs publicly available, but this is no longer the case—you now need to be a part of the LinkedIn Partner Program to access them. There are currently four programs you can enroll in:

  1. Marketing Developer Program
  2. Sales Navigator Solutions
  3. Talent Solutions Partnership
  4. LinkedIn Learning Partner Program

You can become a partner and request API access by visiting the LinkedIn Developers page and creating an app.

You’ll see a form you need to fill out, which depends on the specific program you want to join. When you do, you need to wait for the approval, and LinkedIn will notify you of the outcome via email. If you’re accepted, you can request access to specific APIs.

Note that you might not get access to all the APIs you wish to use. Some of them are private, which means you need to submit additional requests after you’ve enrolled in your chosen program. This makes the process quite laborious, and you might have to wait for quite a while before you can use APIs. Worse yet, the wait and effort may not be worth it.

Source: LinkedIn Developers

Limitations of LinkedIn APIs

If you plan on using LinkedIn APIs to extract the information you need to execute effective campaigns, you might be disappointed with your options. LinkedIn is highly protective of users’ data, so its APIs come with various limitations.

Take the Profile API as an example. You can only get profile data from authenticated members, and you need their permission to obtain it. This means there’s virtually no way of gathering data at scale.

The connection API is equally limited. Lists of 1st-degree connections are subject to a user’s privacy settings, which means you can’t obtain everyone’s data. You also can’t access 2nd-degree connections at all, which further narrows your prospect pool.

With all of the above in mind, it’s clear that LinkedIn’s official APIs aren’t the best option for prospecting and lead generation. To circumvent their limitations, marketing and sales pros sometimes use third-party APIs instead.

Source: LinkedIn

Pros and Cons of Third-Party LinkedIn APIs

You can find numerous Python libraries dedicated to LinkedIn APIs made by independent developers. Some are used in tandem with official APIs to provide a pure Python interface that lets you make requests more easily. Other don’t require access to official APIs at all—they let you directly perform various tasks, such as:

There are also comprehensive third-party APIs from platforms like PhantomBuster or People Data Labs, specifically tailored to tasks like LinkedIn automation and data scraping.

While such APIs might be better suited for marketing and sales-focused tasks, most of them suffer from significant disadvantages.

The first and most notable one is the risk of having your account blocked. While scraping LinkedIn data is technically legal (as long as you stick to public data), it’s still frowned upon by the platform. LinkedIn has various protective measures to detect unwanted traffic, and evading them requires lots of additional work.

Another drawback is challenging implementation. Using LinkedIn APIs with or without Python requires an extensive coding background, so this option is reserved for seasoned developers. Even if you’re among them, there’s a much easier way to get all the data you need and streamline various LinkedIn processes—using a dedicated platform.

💡 Bonus read: Check out these tried and tested LinkedIn scrapers and find the most effective one.

Why You Should Use a LinkedIn Scraping and Automation Platform

Using APIs isn’t the only way to integrate LinkedIn into your workflow. In fact, it might not even be the best one in many cases. If you’re in the market for a solution that lets you simplify LinkedIn prospecting and outreach campaigns as a whole, commercial LinkedIn scraping and automation platforms are a better option for three reasons:

  1. ⚡ Ease of use—You can find various no-code platforms that handle the heavy lifting, ensuring you get the data you need without much effort
  2. 💻 Accessibility—Anyone in your team can use a ready-made LinkedIn scraper, so it’s not reserved for developers
  3. 🔒 Safety—Many commercial scraping and automation platforms come with a significantly lower risk of your LinkedIn account or IP address being banned

Note that the above benefits don’t apply to every platform. Many tools are quite technical or might come at a hefty price that doesn’t justify their features. If you need a solution that offers outstanding value for money and lets you uplevel your LinkedIn game, Clay can be a perfect option

👉 Extra tip: Still want to try out platforms like People Data Labs and PhantomBuster? No problem—Clay seamlessly integrates with both!

Streamline Your Workflow With Clay

Clay is a comprehensive data enrichment and sales automation platform that lets you find virtually all the data points you need for effective outbound campaigns.

If you don’t have any leads yet, you can pull companies an people from scratch in Clay. Define your search criteria, and you’ll get an abundant list in no time. Clay connects with 50+ data providers, letting you enrich your lead list with crucial data, such as:

  • 📞 Contact details (emails, phone numbers, etc.)
  • ⭐ Skills, experience, awards, and other info

Ask Clay for the information you need, and it will find data points through waterfall enrichment. This revolutionary data enrichment process involves browsing providers one by one until the platform finds your chosen data.

To further simplify your workflow, Clay offers dozens of templates with pre-built tables designed for specific tasks. If you want to scrape LinkedIn pages as you visit them (or any other page, for that matter), use Clay’s Chrome extension. It lets you extract structured data in no more than a few clicks, so you don’t need to deal with APIs or coding. 

Let Clay’s AI Take Over Manual Work

Whether you need answers to specific questions or want to streamline research and other tasks, Clay offers a capable AI assistant that is up to the task—Claygent. It can scrape any corner of the web through a simple prompt, eliminating the need for manual searches. 🧠

Source: Clay

Claygent isn’t the only way you can leverage AI to create a cohesive workflow. Once you have the data you need, you can fire up Clay’s AI Email Builder to draft hyper-personalized emails in seconds. It automatically pulls from your Clay table to write compelling messages, automating entire email sequences at scale. 🚀

When your emails are ready, you can push them to your sequencer and start executing your campaign. Clay integrates with over 100 popular solutions—including well-known CRM platforms and sales execution tools—so it can seamlessly fit into your current workflow.

If these features sound appealing, you can give them a test run through Clay’s robust free plan. It lets you explore some of the platform’s main capabilities and decide whether it’s the right option for you. If you decide to upgrade, you can choose from four paid tiers:

Plan Cost
Starter $149/month
Explored $349/month
Pro $800/month
Enterprise Custom

Thanks to the aforementioned waterfall enrichment, you can get the most out of every dollar you invest. You only pay once Clay finds the data you need, so there’s no wasted money.

All of the above makes Clay the top choice of many marketing and sales teams. Don’t take our word for it—here’s what some of them had to say:

Source: Clay Wall of Love

Create Your Free Clay Account

If you want the easiest way to prospect companies and people, you can get started with Clay in three steps:

  1. Go to the signup page 🖥️
  2. Enter your name, email, and password 🔑
  3. Explore Clay’s scraping and enrichment features 🛠️

Need more info to decide if Clay’s for you? Visit the platform’s University and join the growing Slack community to see the results others are getting with it. You can also sign up for Clay’s newsletter for updates and tips on getting the most out of your outreach campaigns.

💡 Keep reading: Want to learn more about using LinkedIn in your outbound efforts? Check out these articles:

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