Three new APIs that should keep app developers very, very busy

Three new APIs that should keep app developers very, very busy

Do you want to live stream with Meerkat about your favorite Marvel Comics characters that you share on Pinterest? Well, now you might be able to do just that – or some other combination of those three things*. You see, Meerkat, Marvel Comics and Pinterest have all released new application programming interfaces (APIs) for use by developers to create new third-party apps that will work with their own products.

All three APIs were announced within the past week, and all three bode well for developers who are seeking new opportunities for ways to express their creative, app-building side.

Things got started with Meerkat, the very hot live-streaming app that briefly worked with Twitter (long story) … Nearly 40 “companion experiences” were built by developers for use with Meerkat before the public release of its API.

“Nobody knows what a good livestream is and what this medium is going to be. It’s important to give people a chance to show their creativity,” Ben Rubin, founder of Meerkat told TechCrunch. And so their public API was born and their developer page provides plenty of code samples to help people get started. The Meerkat appears to be quite happy to share.

At nearly the same time, Marvel Comics opened up its first API for developers, providing  free access to “an unprecedented amount of information from the Marvel universe.”

As they go on to say in The Next Web: “The API offers the ability to retrieve individual comics, an entire series, components of issues (for example, the cover), events from inside an issue, creator details and individual character data. For example, you can retrieve an entire story arc from the Marvel universe with a simple API call.” This means access to a catalog that goes back 70 years. (Note: As a huge comic book fan, the writer of this blog post is very pleased.)

Not to be outdone – and no, this isn’t a competition! – Pinterest announced the launch of “the beta version of the Pinterest Developers Platform, a suite of APIs for developers to build apps and integrations that bring Pins to life.” For clarity, developers do need to apply for this program (and it is strictly for those in the U.S. at this time), but it is anticipated that the rollout will move quickly.

“There’s a lot of valuable data on Pinterest, and the company’s move to open up their API means that they’re now allowing developers to tap into the potential of some of that data,” Jan Rezab, CEO of social analytics firm Socialbakers told Forbes. “The type of user data available on Pinterest is, in many ways, unique from the data gathered on Facebook and Twitter, which means we can expect to see developers using it in a host of different ways.”

When you have a moment, check out this great list over on recode.net of 10 things developers want to do with the Pinterest API.

Two more APIs to note: Canadian firm Dexterity Ventures released version 2.0 of their GIVE_api, which “allows developers to incorporate philanthropy into their web and mobile projects”; and using the Insteon API, developers can now create home automation apps that integrate with the Microsoft Band.

It looks like the next several months could be filled with an abundance of creative offerings. We’re excited to think about how developers will make the most of these new APIs.

*We’re just thinking out loud here. Each of the APIs mentioned above are independent of one another, and not specifically working in partnership at this stage. But hey, you never know what a developer might create! 

2015-05-13T09:57:50+00:00