January 29, 2020
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Jonathan Stark's Starbucks card is seeing a lot of use this week. That's because he's sharing it with the whole Internet. Anonymous people are both using and adding money to the card and we can all follow the balance with the Jonathan's Card API or over the tweets which come rolling in once per minute.
Innovation in web service APIs is not always technical, sometimes it's about money. Such is the case with Yahoo's announcement that later this year they will begin charging for usage of BOSS (Build your Own Search Service), their search web service for developers. Given that search revenue is typically ad-driven, and that advertising doesn't typically mesh with APIs, this has meant that search APIs have been one of the most challenging classes of APIs for providers to monetize. So it's notable to see how Yahoo has chosen to tackle this: via a 'utility' pricing model, somewhat akin to how infrastructure services like Amazon Web Services charge by usage.