AirBNB API Will Pay Developers With Affiliate Program

Adam DuVander
Oct. 13 2011, 04:34PM EDT

Popular room rental service AirBNB does not yet have an official AirBNB API. But signs point to one's existence, as well as an affiliate plan in place to pay developers for reservations booked through the API. If the company sticks with the plan as written now, developers will be able to make up to 10 million API calls per day before contacting AirBNB.

Here are some choice quotes from the AirBNB affiliate terms, which include branding requirements, rate limits and other fine print:

You will be paid for Commission-Earning Activity derived from Application Programming Interface (API) only if your Software (including websites, web apps, mobile apps) complies with all of these Terms and Conditions.

For each transaction, You will be compensated in accordance with the then-current Payout schedule for Transactions on Airbnb.com site ("Commission-Earning Activity"). To qualify as a payable transaction, a user must take an affirmative action, clicking on your properly-coded link in a browser or browser environment.

You may not include affiliate links on any of Airbnb.com pages, nor may you use affiliate links to promote your own Airbnb listing or those of your sub-publishers or those of anyone else with whom you are affiliated.

You will use not use the listings we provide without using Airbnb’s creative assets. It should also be clear to the user that these listings are from Airbnb.

If you exceed or plan to exceed any of the following thresholds, please contact us prior to using the API: (>10M API Calls per day)

If You collect information about the user or about user’s web usage, You have to receive explicit permission from the user prior to using this information to display advertising

You will not directly or indirectly offer any consideration or incentive for any Commission-Earning Activity or for clicking on an affiliate program-coded link unless expressly authorized to do so in writing by Airbnb.

AirBNB has an affiliates signup page, but only links and widgets are the tools available at this time. The api.airbnb.com endpoint is active at this time. But again, no documentation.

There is obviously a private API for the AirBNB iPhone app. And AirBNB's Michael Schaecher responded on a Quora thread about Hipmunk incorporating AirBNB into its hotel search:

We have a pretty basic, closed API that Hipmunk uses for their search. I believe they are the only ones using it, but are in talks to give access to some other partners. Our affiliate program is in need of a big reboot, it was built along time ago to an MVP level and that is where it still sits today

As a darling of the new media types, expect big interest in the AirBNB API once it is released. It also has an opportunity to show the many Travel APIs how platforms work in the modern era. And as a site that's already disrupted an industry, imagine how that might expand when developers can help expand its reach.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

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[...] en riktigt intressant affärsmodell runt sitt kommande API, nämligen att betala apputvecklare via ett affiliateprogram. Det innebär att om någon hyr ett rum via din app så får du en kickback från [...]

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