February 10, 2011
Single purpose API
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Additional third party integration with Gmail has been possible (you only have to look at all the contact import features from sites like Facebook), but these have either been clunky manual procedures that involve exporting contacts to a CVS file, or they require you to supply your email password. Neither option is all that attractive. Now there is an alternative. Google have recently added the ability to access the IMAP/SMTP features of particular Gmail account using OAuth.
As the number of APIs grows, more people are becoming familiar with the term. I had a taxi driver who knew about APIs, although that was in tech-heavy San Francisco. Despite becoming more known, "API" is not a term most mainstream users will use. Yet many of these same people are already asking for APIs—they’re just not using the term. Here are three ways mainstream users are asking for APIs.
Email marketing service provider MailChimp announced last week a new $1 million dollar fund for startups building products that integrate with the service's MailChimp API. MailChimp's program is somewhat unique in that they won't be asking for equity from the companies they fund. It's a pretty attractive deal for prospective partners and a trail-blazing move for a platform in an increasingly competitive industry.