Zaarly API Connects Offline to Online

Adam DuVander
Jul. 17 2012, 10:17AM EDT

Local marketplace Zaarly has launched a Zaarly API for adding Zaarly buttons to any website. "Zaarly Anywhere" allows users to request products from someone nearby, such as from simple errands to complex products.

VentureBeat does a good job of explaining Zaarly and the opportunities within the new platform:

Zaarly users have already requested $30 million in custom projects, such as building a custom treehouse or setting up Christmas lights. But the new initiative broadens the reach of Zaarly-style local commerce to every site on the internet, significantly extending the number of internet users who can participate, and enabling publishers to monetize their content in new ways.

The Zaarly API uses JavaScript and markup to get metadata from a web page and into the Zaarly marketplace. With a click, end users can add requests to Zaarly, such as "make me a dining table like the one in this photo."

For an API, there's a lot missing from Zaarly's platform that developers would want. The JavaScript API requires a specific workflow, whereas developers might want to add items programmatically. There is also no way to query for local opportunities other than through Zaarly's own website and mobile app.

Despite these drawbacks, it's great to see Zaarly take a first step into the API provider world, launching with big name partners like the LA Times, according to the press release.

Zaarly is one of 27 local shopping APIs.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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