Traitify Provides Personality Testing via API-as-a-Product

Mark Boyd
Jun. 17 2014, 02:00PM EDT

The developer of a new API-as-a-product believes it has cracked the nut on providing a personalized experience by integrating user-focused personality tests. The Traitify API is open to partners for integration with applications that aim to harness personality testing in how they serve up content and services. CEO Derek Mercer spoke with ProgrammableWeb on the day of the launch.

Traitify offers a series of personality tests via API for integration into third-party applications and web services. “This really turns personality profiles on their head,” says Mercer. “Where they were long and tedious, we have turned it into showing pictures and letting users make a simple binary decision of whether this represents ‘me or not me.’ We analyze 100 points of personality from these personality decks.”

Mercer sees immediate benefit of the API for applications in e-commerce, dating, travel and employment. “We can be very specific — focused on career or integrity, for example — or very broad, like a character personality test overall.”

Developers can integrate the API so that personality testing “can be served up in any form you like: a registration process, a user portal, a blog post. People can go through these tests, and so then you can assess that personality and you have a set of data points you can work on,” he says.

Mercer explains that the API allows a simple integration or creation of more complex coding chains, in which the cached data is referenced throughout an application.

He gives an example of a dating app: At its simplest, a developer could integrate the API so that a new user completes a personality test and the results are added to that person's profile page. The profile could include the user's personality type and which other personalities are most compatible.

In more complex integrations, the API can also be used to help decide what content should be served up in the application. For example, the dating app could allow the user to search via personality type compatibility, or it could automatically serve up date match search results based on compatible personality types.

While only a handful of beta customers have used the API so far, Mercer is confident that the developer tools available will help implement both such use cases: a simpler integration and one in which personality test results are used as an organizing framework for personalizing content throughout the app experience.

“We have lots of SDK libraries. We have a lot of that fleshed out for developers. You sign in to the developer portal and you have access to all of the libraries you need. And we have lots of simple widgets you can embed, and all of this is about getting you up to speed and truly understand the API so you can get it into your user community,” says Mercer.

Developers can also receive the validation results from the testing instruments to ensure the accuracy of personality tests. To date, Traitify has validated the main personality test, which has scored a correlation of 0.94 on Cronbach’s alpha, a measure for psychometric tests to ensure that there is an internal consistency in how the questions are framed. Validation results for tests on integrity, perseverance and relationships are planned for release incrementally over the next few weeks.

Exactly what commitment developers will be making by integrating the API into their applications is unclear, with Traitify remaining tight-lipped about what pricing impacts using the API will have on an application. “We provide a sandbox environment in which developers can test applications free of cost. Developers start paying for API calls once they go live in a production environment,” the Traitify team said in a followup email.

Access to the Traitify API is available by request.

Mark Boyd is a ProgrammableWeb writer covering breaking news, API business strategies and models, open data, and smart cities. I can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.

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