After claiming in a previous post that there are no German publishers with APIs, I discovered that German news agency dpa is offering the Presseportal API for its press release service. Agencies are an integral part of the news ecosystem, and especially because the dpa is an international API provider it is a great pleasure for me to put some more light on its services.
Presseportal is a service of newsaktuell, which is a subsidiary of dpa, one of the big German news agencies. Presseportal is publishing press releases for their customers. These documents, images, and other media files are provided to journalists for use in their newsroom. Besides press releases, Presseportal also publishes announcements by the police, fire department, and other state agencies in Germany.
The first version of the Presseportal API was released in March 2010. According to a blog post by Jens Petersen, Head of Company Communications, Presseportal used the API internally to build integrations with social media services. Examples of this are that press releases are shared on Twitter, images are published on Twitter and Picasa, while PDF versions of press releases can be found on Slideshare and Scribd. The mantra of "eat your own dogfood" has been followed by a lot of other companies before, so it sounds like a sensible approach by Presseportal to try the same.
According to a press release in July 2010 the introduction of its API was a success for Presseportal, as 140 new partnerships had been established in just 6 months and the partners all used the Presseportal API as their point of integration.
Apparently Presseportal was happy with the 3rd party use of their API, as in May 2011 a new API revision was released which enables API users to fetch content based on a predefined list of German keywords.
It looks like Presseportal is on a pretty good track here. I am looking forward to seeing how Presseportal will innovate around its API in the future, and what kind of interesting applications developers will come up with. So go get an API key and hack away!
Disclosure: The author is working for a company that also offers services in the field of press release distribution.