ReferralCandy is an online marketing company that specializes in referral marketing. The company provides a plug-and-play platform that makes referral marketing easier. Techinasia.com notes that ReferralCandy modeled their structure after Dropbox’s two-sided incentive referral program. Dropbox’s program rewarded both the user that signed up through a referral link and the referrer with additional storage space. This tactic has proven successful for ReferralCandy who recently released their ReferralCandy API.
Although it’s hard to do justice to the topic of API security in the space of a blog post, the topic is important because it affects every API architect creating a new web service. Advice that has come from experience may be of particular value—and that’s what follows here.
We have seen an explosion in the number of APIs that are now available to developers. It seems like almost everyone has one and those that don’t are scrambling to get one. The focus now is clearly not on just having an API, but having a “great API.” Two excellent presentations from Cloudstock, held earlier this month, give you an overview on the current state of the API market and tips on what makes a great API.
A few years back, your product strategy would have focused on functionality and user experience, as some of its key points. It was a rare occurrence to have an API immediately available for your product, which users could have used to create interesting mashups, move data in/out and several other things. This is definitely changing.
Why is it that the most common questions people have about providing open APIs are often about monetization? While there are many possible answers, two reasons that stand out are: a) the API is a distribution channel, and when you think new distribution channel there is an expectation around revenue opportunities; and b) if you are the person in your company trying to define the business case for an API to the executive team, there is a big hurdle to overcome, because business executives tend to see an API as a cost center and want to know how to measure the pay-off.