Friday, 22 June 2012

Google+ opens its API for Flipboard

Those of you on Flipboard, you will soon be able to receive your Google+ accounts within the app. According to Mashable, Bradley Horowitz, the Vice President of Product at Google announced at LeWeb in London that Google+ will be opening up its API to Flipboard, allowing users to connect their Google+ accounts to the app. Users will be able to +1 on articles that they read and want to share, as well as use their Google+ accounts to comment on articles. Horowitz did not specify when the functions will be live for Flipboard users, however, he did specify that Flipboard is one of the chosen partners to receive the Google+ API. Other partners of the Google+ API include HootSuite, Virtue and Buddy Media. Horowitz added that the 170 million user count of Google+ is stale and that more information on the social network and its API will be made available at I/O, Google's developer conference which will take place from the 27th till the 29th of June in San Francisco.

Google+ hasn't opened up a full public API yet and it's hard to say when they will do that. They have been handing out limited versions of their API to some developers since September of last year, which is three months after the social network went live. At SXSW in March of this year, the head of Google+, Vic Gundotra said that Google had no plans to release an API for Google+ this year. Gundotra said, "I just don’t want to do it because I’ve seen other [platforms] open APIs, develop an ecosystem of third-party clients, and then shut down the API. I’m going to release that API when I’m confident we’re not going to screw over developers." He said that when Google+ finally does open up an API, they will not revoke access. He also said that he didn't want users' streams being flooded with stories from third party apps, which mask genuine stories that other users post. So while Google+ will not hand out a full API to developers, they do partner up with some to extend its service to other services. Furthermore, there are already games on Google+, indicating somewhat of a willingness to be open.

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