The Latest News On The API Economy
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Getting from A to B in the most cost effective way can be difficult if you're just guessing as you go. TaxiMe is an application that provides users with cost estimates for cab fares and trip information for major cities in the U.S. and Canada. This means users can plan their journeys beforehand and know exactly what the costs involved will amount to. TaxiMe's API allows access to cab contacts and rates for these different cities.
Moxie Software has released Engage+,"the first social chat app that leverages Facebook’s social graph leveraging public profiles to target social visitors with unique proactive offers and provide agents with a rich set of social data." Until now, sales and customer service reps had access to limited customer data when interacting with customers via chat (e.g. customer name, purchase history, email, perhaps a few other data points). Engage+ utilizes Facebook's social graph to further understand and engage customers during chat conversations (e.g. age, brand likes, friends, mobile usage, and many more data points). Deeper profiling during a customer interaction allows companies to produce customized offers pinpointed at specific customers.
If you sell products, you probably know the tax rate for your state. But what about for all the other states you might be selling in? The Tax Data Systems API has that figured out. Using their API, you can insert their look up system into your software to incorporate the answers into the calculations for your customer's invoice.
StackMob, a leading cloud-based, mobile Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider, has just announced the launch of the StackMob Marketplace, a developer-ready API modules online store. In addition, StackMob is now offering a new pricing model that offers free StackMob API calls to developers.
Whether buying or selling a house, refinancing or just curious about the state of the property market, many people wouldn't know where to start when trying to determine the true value of a property. There are so many factors that play a role in getting to this figure, and a tool that could lay it all out clearly for the user would definitely be a bonus. The Eppraisal API may do the trick.
This week, Amazon announced a new addition to their AWS web service Amazon Glacier, which offers "extremely low cost archive storage" and easy setup for anyone already familiar with AWS. Though the pricing model seems convoluted, the continued expansion of Amazon's cloud computing services is good news for developers.
ValueAppeal is a service to help U.S. homeowners appeal the assessed value of their home. Over-assessed property results in taxes that are higher than they should be. This means that homeowners may be over-paying their taxes by anywhere from $500 to $1,000 or more. I wouldn’t mind keeping an extra $1,000 of my money per year going forward and I bet the same goes for most of America. If you have a website focused on real estate (did anyone mention this to Zillow?) the ValueAppeal API could augment it with compelling information.
Location data and storage company SimpleGeo has announced plans to change its pay-per-use pricing for the SimpleGeo API, removing a free option for low volume users. Instead, the company will offer tiered pricing, with 60 day free trials at every tier.
APIs are giving more leverage to small independent players. Whether it’s a single developer, or a small web development team, each quality API that is produced gives them another leg up. There is a wonderful varied ecosystem emerging here with many highly specified niche players. TinyPay.me is one such player, offering e-commerce services with focus on simplicity and product placement. The TinyPay.me API gives developers a unique online storefront option.
During the past four months we've seen not one but two well known real-time search engines disappear. First there was OneRiot, which in October 2010 decided to focus on advertising. More recently, Collecta closed it's real-time search engine and API to focus on alternative real-time products. Digging further into real-time search offerings you will also discover that crowdeye has also decided to pull its real-time search engine. This now appears to leave Topsy, and of course Google as the main players focusing on building a real-time search destination. Does this trend signal the end for all real-time search engines or just that their focus has been wrong?
Lately we're seeing a lot more talk about API monetization. Last week we covered TweetPhoto's efforts at encouraging developers to use the TweetPhoto API through a transactional payment model (one penny or so for each photo uploaded via the API). Last month we covered Bandsintown, which provides affiliate earnings via use of its Bandsintown API. And more recently Touchnote announced an affiliate payment model (with a whopping 30% royalty) for developers working with its image API.