This week we had 71 new APIs added to our API directory including a social eCommerce platform, optical character recognition service, location information services, web marketing services and a mobile printing app. In addition we covered Involver’s launch of a groundbreaking social advertising optimization API. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.
There are nearly 5,000 APIs. We can connect services and build just about anything. By “we,” I mean developers. Regular people were left behind by what now seems like a passing fad, widgets. The web would benefit from a resurgence of widget-making and developers are just the sort to take advantage of the opportunity.
Hackathons are a fast growing phenomenom where developers come together, usually in short periods up to 72 hours to submit ideas, form teams and hack together applications, data visualizations and sometimes form business models around their ideas. ProgrammableWeb is tracking 22 hackathons coming in the next couple weeks all around the world.
New York City is hosting its third annual BigApps conference this year: BigApps 3.0. Build an application from any combination of 750 New York City data sets that describe everything from political campaign contributions to bicycle rack locations. There are more than a dozen different prize categories and $50,000 of cash prizes to be distributed. For the first time in a BigApps contest, New York City has its own API and the contest also encourages using APIs of NYC companies, including the Foursquare API and Etsy API.
In April, we covered the DonorsChoose.org Hack Education contest, where developers were challenged to create apps and data visualizations with the DonorsChoose API that would engage the public and have an impact on education. Out of over 50 apps, an email mashup was named the top choice, with its developer receiving a trophy from political comedian (and DonorsChoose board member) Stephen Colbert.
The second-most popular API in our directory has revamped its developer site and announced some incredible numbers. Microblogging service Twitter says it has more than 1,000,000 registered apps from three-quarters of a million developers. After a year when it’s been unclear how important developers are to Twitter, this new site is perhaps an olive branch to its huge community. The new site for those developers includes its own API blog, on-site discussions and enhanced app management.
With an announcement of new permissions levels, Twitter is requiring apps that need access to direct messages to re-authorize their users. For mobile apps, this could mean rewriting to use OAuth for the first time. When the developer community balked at a shorter timeline, Twitter extended the deadline to June 14 June 30. Though most developers will not need to make changes to their applications, those that do will have to do so in only 27 43 days.
The winners of NYC BigApps 2.0 competion have been announced. In one of the largest open government initiatives of its kind, the competition provided developers with access to over 350 sets of official New York City data and asked them to build applications on top of that. The public round of voting commenced in February, to choose from 58 applications that spanned mobile, web and SMS Apps that targeting various NYC public data sets.
The debate over RSS never seems to end. 2011 kicked off with a widely read post predicting the decreasing influence of RSS in 2010. There have been responses from Fred Wilson and GigaOM that argue it is still relevant today. We believe that it continues to be a solid mechanism for web sites to aggregate data from multiple sources, as displayed by the 121 RSS APIs in our directory. In this post, we’ll look at RSS beyond blog syndication.
Telephony platform Twilio has a long running developer contest, giving Netbooks and Twilio credit to the winners. Recently it had a special contest, in which the winners could meet with Union Square Ventures partners for lunch. The winner of the contest is Asthmapolis, a site that helps track, manage and research asthma.