Zappos Comes to its Senses, Allows Mobile Apps

Adam DuVander, July 14th, 2010

ZapposWhen Zappos released its API, there was a strange restriction: no mobile applications. While sometimes lawyers write terms that aren’t formally enforced, Zappos made it clear on its API mailing list that it was serious. Soon, the restriction will be removed and mobile applications will be allowed without written approval.

In another post to the mailing list Will Young says the change was based on developer response:

Based on your quick feedback, we will be removing the restriction from our T&C’s regarding mobile applications.

It’s still important that the other parts of our terms are followed.
- Don’t misrepresent your application as an official Zappos application (this includes having Zappos or any misspelling of Zappors or a Zappos TM in the name)
- Properly attribute content coming from Zappos
- Don’t use our proprietary content (reviews, multi-image views) that link to non-Zappos sites

The original restriction, Young says, was because Zappos wasn’t sure about its API or mobile strategy. Obviously, the terms were meant to stop mobile apps that might compete with Zappos’ own forthcoming products. But for developers, it was a perplexing rule, especially since so much innovation is happening in mobile.

Thankfully, Zappos will remove the restriction on mobile apps. An open API is far less open with an entire class of application disallowed. And, in the end, the burgeoning Zappos API community will be the better for it.

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3 Responses to “Zappos Comes to its Senses, Allows Mobile Apps”

July 28th, 2010
at 5:33 pm
Comment by: Making Mobile Apps? Not With These APIs

[...] launched the Zappos API (our Zappos API profile), mobile was off limits without explanation. Then Zappos came to its senses and developers can now create mobile applications using the [...]

October 11th, 2010
at 2:49 pm
Comment by: Zappos Developer Portal Puts Spotlight on its API

[...] iPhone app, which lets shoppers browse and buy from Zappos on mobile devices, something Zappos only recently made possible. Other API clients include the official Zappos iPad app and the Zappos plugin for Seesmic [...]

February 15th, 2011
at 9:56 am
Comment by: Zappos API Growing Up: Version 2 Coming This Week

[...] to the needs of its users. When the initial terms of service disallowed mobile applications, Zappos came to its senses, reversing the [...]

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Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.