Prismatic's Interest Graph API Boosts Content Discoverability

Prismatic has released an API that provides publishers with access to its interest graph. The API is in alpha status and has only one function. If you're a content producer on the Web, you'll want to see about tagging your articles, columns and posts with the interest graph API so they show up in Prismatic's database.

Prismatic is sort of like Pinterest. It's a social recommendation network that prides itself on a deep knowledge base of Web articles about various topics or, in Prismatic parlance, "interests." The company has more than 10,000 interests cataloged and available for searching. The interests allow people to dig into their hobbies or perform hardcore research. The service includes recommendations and alerts when new articles or information about interests becomes available, and there's a social sharing component, too.

In order to manage all this, Prismatic created what it calls its interest graph. As Prismatic explains, the interest graph is "a model that helps us understand our users, their interests, publishers, content, and the connections between them. By aligning with users’ interests, the interest graph enables recommendations of products and content to deliver an experience that people care about." Access to the interest graph is what the new API allows.

Using the interest graph API, publishers will be able to tag their content intelligently so that it shows up in search results in Prismatic. Further, publishers will be able to better organize their own content. Prismatic suggests that using the API and its tagging tools will make it easier for readers to find the content they want based on the interest at hand. The API negates the need to tag posts manually, and does so with fewer false positives and fewer false negatives.

Properly tagged content will also help readers find better related articles or content. Prismatic says computing the similarity of articles by comparing their interest tags is less susceptible to noise and can be significantly more efficient than computing similarity based on the words in the articles. Prismatic says there's no end to what publishers can do with interest tags. For example, the interest tags can provide a sense of users' preferences for discovering content.

Publishers or developers interested in using the interest graph API will need to enter their email address and explain what they wish to do with the API. Prismatic will then email an API access token. Once the token arrives, Prismatic suggests developers use its Web interface to tag a URL or piece of text to generate a query. At this point you're off to the races.

Where do people access Prismatic? Well, the company has an Android app, an iOS app and, of course, its Web interface. It requires a social networking login (Facebook or Twitter). Applying the Prismatic interest graph API to your own content should make it more discoverable to an actively engaged and interested audience.

Eric Zeman I am a journalist who covers the mobile telecommunications industry. I freelance for ProgrammableWeb and other online properties.