Microsoft's latest version of its search API (our Live Search API Profile), which was released last November as a public beta, seems to be gaining quite a bit of momentum. According to a recent post on the Live Search Blog, the API is serving more than 3 billion queries per month, more than 5,000 applications to use the API, and queries from third party sites account for 80% of the API's query volume.
According to Live Search team member Angus Norton:
After two years of developing our API with internal customers like MSN, MSNBC, and Microsoft.com, we launched API 2.0 this fall and made it available to partners like Facebook and The Free Dictionary. The point of Project Silk Road and API 2.0 is to provide an extensible search platform: You have nearly complete control over how you want to rank and format the results, and you can choose from JSON, XML, or SOAP protocols.
The API gives you access to extensive content partnerships from a broad range of sources, including news, images, and maps. That translates into keeping more visitors natively on your site. In the following example, let’s say you are building a site to help customers plan cycling trips. You can use the API to pull in maps, images, news and information related to that task, including finding restaurants or hotels in the area.