Google announced that it is inviting developers to try out the beta version of its Real Time Reporting API, a tool that allows you to programmatically make queries on your website data and use that information in whatever way you please.
The new API is based on Google Analytics Real Time, released two years ago, which tells you how many people are on your site right now, their geographic locations, the traffic sources that referred them, and the pages they are viewing.
The problem with the real-time reporting tool was that nobody wanted to sit at their computer all day long to take advantage of such insights, so Google came out with an API that lets you display the data how and where you like.
One fun example is a pebble watch that shows how many hits a website is getting in real time. But while not everyone needs to count site visitors on their wristwatch, the API has several other useful advantages.
Developers can use it to display active viewers on a webpage or to let visitors know what content is trending. Twiddy, a family-owned vacation rental business, successfully used the API to create a sense of urgency among buyers and increase its web conversion rate.
By using the Real Time API in conjunction with the Google Analytics superProxy, you can power dashboards and widgets and publically share reporting data without the complexity of authentication.
Google is releasing its Real Time Reporting API in a closed beta by invite only. For now, it is not issuing a service level agreement (SLA) against the beta, meaning you have the freedom to do with it as you will. Interested developers can sign up here to request whitelist access.