Today in APIs: Instagram Pecks Twitter, Gilt Puts a Premium on Analytics and 11 New APIs

Greg Bates, December 10th, 2012

InstagramInstagram pulls photos from Twitter’s stream. Gilt Groupe signs up Google Analytics. Plus: Scraping websites can stand in place of APIs, how to put together an API support team, and 11 new APIs.

Instagram Pulls Photos from Twitter in a Snap

Twitter
Instagram has pulled out of Twitter. Kevin Isaacs at All Things D reports that Twitter hopes to have its own photo filters inside the Twitter app later this month. Instagram users aren’t totally stuck, he says, but Twitter isn’t as convenient as it used to be:

While users can still post links to their Instagram photos on Twitter, they’ll no longer be able to view Instagram photos from within the Twitter stream across both the Twitter Web site and mobile apps.

Hayley Tsukayama reports in the Washington Post, what motivated the change: Instagram founder Kevin Systrom aims to drive traffic back to its own site.

Instagram “is trying to figure out — specifically with our Twitter integration — what it should look like. And we’ve decided that, right now, what makes sense is to direct users to our new mobile experience.”

While work arounds do exist–including a Google Chrome plug-in and the straightforward step of posting to a website and then tweeting them–the absence of Instagram’s support adds a layer of inconvenience.

Gilt Groupe Leverages Google Analytics

Google Analytics
The online shopping destination Gilt Groupe has chosen the one-year old service Google Analytics Premium to sift through its data, according to a Google press release. Spreading data analysis throughout the whole organization, Google’s Analytics Premium enables Gilt to make more data-driven decisions faster. Among the advantages Premium provides are detailed reporting on the customer level, using unsampled data to remove uncertainty, creating custom variables to focus on a range of metrics, and predictive and attribution modeling.

According to a case study prepared by Google, its all about beefing up the robustness of decision making.

The main incentives to upgrade were to access unsampled data and capture more detailed information at the user level in order to make decisions on statistically sound data. Having already integrated the standard version of Google Analytics into the Gilt website and its back- end systems, stepping up to the premium version required only very limited implementation, service, and support, but delivered a host of advanced features that Gilt now uses every day.

The case study shows that sharing this much information so widely can impact company culture. Everyone can monitor performance and Google Analytics provides pivotal data analysis used in meetings and other settings.

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11 New APIs

Today we had 11 new APIs added to our API directory including an amazon mobile app creation tools, a language analysis service, a chemical analysis and mapping service, an email marketing service, an art-based chat service and a group messaging service. Below is more details on each of these new APIs.

Amazon Mobile AppAmazon Mobile App API: The Amazon Mobile App SDK provides APIs that allow developers to use Amazon services to help build mobile applications. The tools include:

In-App Purchasing API: For offering digital content and subscriptions for purchase within apps.

Amazon GameCircle API: Makes Achievements, Leaderboards and Whispersync services accessible in-game.

Amazon A/B Testing Service: For experimenting with different in-app experiences.

Amazon Maps API: To add interactive maps to apps for most Kindle Fire tablets.

Apicultr Word LemmatizerApicultr Word Lemmatizer API: Apicultur is a platform for APIs. The Apicultur APIs are primarily linguistic APIs to process and analyze texts and words. The word lemmatizer API uses the lematiza-clasico method which gives users all the lemmas of a word that has been entered and their part of speech (including both the traditional part of speech as well as our own classification from Molino de Ideas). The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in JSON.

ChemGPSChemGPS API: The service provides principal component analysis (PCA) of chemical samples with relevance to biology to generate a global space map. In effect, it provides a sort of global positioning system (GPS) identifying the location of a sample in an overall matrix of properties based on its chemical composition. Analysis produces a description of a set of compounds based on dimensions or components that together represent its physical-chemical properties, including size, aromatic properties, lipophilic properties, polarity, and flexibility.

API methods support submission of sample data for analysis, resulting in mapping of its properties through interpolation of PCA scores. Methods support queuing a sample dataset for analysis and monitoring processing status. Methods also support access to analytical results upon completion of the process.

DirectIQDirectIQ API: DirectIQ is an email marketing SaaS targeting small to medium businesses. The service offers contact management, template creation, email campaign delivery, campaign reporting and more. The API offers full access to this functionality and allows developers to integrate it into their applications. The API uses SOAP calls and responses are formatted in XML.

Doodle Republic ChatoonDoodle Republic Chatoon API: Doodle Republic allows users to chat with each other using their own artwork to create messages known as Chatoons. Users can create and customize images in Doodle Republic's browser-based Art Lab. The resulting images can be used in chats, or they can be saved, shared, or made into e-cards. Doodle Republic provides pre-made cartoon characters that users can include in their Chatoons. Users can access Doodle Republic's Chatoon services programmatically using a SOAP-based API.

FlocknoteFlocknote API: Flocknote enables users to create and send simple email newsletters and text messages to groups of people. It was designed primarily for churches, ministries, and other such organizations. Flocknote handles all of the subscribing, unsubscribing, open-rate tracking, bounces, and related issues.

Recipients can choose to receive messages by email, text message, or both. If some group members don't do email or texting, Flocknote can call them on the phone or reach them via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS instead. The Flocknote API makes this service's functions accessible to other sites and services via REST calls.

ICE DataICE Data API: The service from IntercontinentalExchange provides data about market transactions and trends from global markets in commodity futures contracts, over-the-counter (OTC) stock issues, and derivative securities such as option contracts. It reports on market transactions and clearinghouse exchanges from North America, Europe, and countries in other regions. It sets benchmark values and calculates indexes in many industries (e.g., energy and agriculture) as well as foreign exchange (forex) markets and equities.

API methods support placement and routing of orders for securities transactions and retrieval of transaction and research data reflecting the trading history of securities and markets. Methods also support post-trade processing to complete transactions in conformance with legal and other requirements.

NJ Transit DepartureVisionNJ Transit DepartureVision API: The service provides departure times and other scheduling information for commuter trains, buses, and other transit assets of the provider, with service within the U.S. state of New Jersey. Along with data downloads and RSS feeds for buses and rail assets, it provides a web service to retrieve daily scheduled, updated nightly, for trains operated by the provider. Data also includes Amtrak trains operating within the region.

API methods support retrieval of an arrival and departure schedule for a particular station within the provider's train lines. Methods also support real-time data, including any current delays, for a specific trip within the system.

OptimizelyOptimizely API: Optimizely provides A/B testing services for comparing the effectiveness of two versions of a web page. Optimizely enables developers to divide site visitors into two groups and to show each group a different version of the same page. Developers can then monitor and compare metrics, such as conversion rates, for each group.

The Optimizely API was designed to give users extra control over experiments as well as to let them retrieve information about the state of Optimizely. To use the API, developers only need to place one line of JavaScript code on every page they want to test. This code snippet will never need to be changed or updated.

RetrotectorRetrotector API: The service from the University of Uppsala in Sweden provides analysis of DNA sequence data to generate a viewable representation of genetic links represented. A Java-based viewer program is available to interpret analytical output and depict genetic structures for deeper investigation.

API methods support submission of a DNA sequence data in FASTA format or as raw data (possibly including position numbers). Sequence size may range from 5 to 10,000 KB in length. Methods support queue management to remove or update analysis jobs along with status monitoring for either an entire queue or a single job. The API also provides for accessing analytical output files.

WookmarkWookmark API: Wookmark is a social site for collecting and sharing images and videos. Users can organize their images with groups and follow other users for inspiration. The Wookmark Plus upgrade allows users to have private images, videos, and groups. It also enables them to upload their own images, have groups with multiple members, sync with Dropbox, and archive old groups.

Wookmark's RSS API allows users to follow popular images, new images, a particular user's images, or a particular group's images. Wookmark's JSON/JSONP API allows users to access popular images, new images, images by user, images by group, images matching a color, and source images. This API also enables users to search through Wookmark's images.

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