It’s good news for Google+ (read Google Plus) developers as Google has released its first Google+ public APIs on Friday. It gives opportunities for the developers to start cooperating with the growing and hugely popular social networking Web site besides creating applications for it.
For the moment, the first batch of Google+ APIs allows developers to acquire only public data from user profiles with read-only mode, something which Google calls a “courtesy usage quota”.
Google sees this initial API release as the first step in building a more powerful developer platform.
”For all of you developers who have been asking for a Google+ API, this is the start. Experiment with it. Build apps on it. Give us your feedback and ideas,” wrote Chris Chabot of Google+ Developer Relations.
Opening a thriving communities for developers, as both Twitter and Facebook have done, is a must for social networking Web sites to succeed. Hence, many developers are joining Google+ application development platform.
According to Twitter’s announcement in July, around 750,000 developers have built about 1 million applications for its service.
Interestingly, Google has held off on adopting for Google+ the OpenSocial APIs, developed in 2007, which ranked at the top for years as a better choice to proprietary tools for specific platforms likes Facebook’s.
Google sees OpenSocial as a standard, common set of APIs for many social networking sites to adopt and developers could build applications once and they will be able to work on more sites with minor or no changes.
The OpenSocial technology has been adopted by many consumer and enterprise social networking providers and its development is managed and supervised by the nonprofit OpenSocial Foundation.
As for the plans for developers to build Google+ application using the OpenSocial APIs, at this time the Google+ platform doesn’t support the OpenSocial APIs, a Google spokeswoman said via email.
However, we are using lots of the technology that was developed as part of OpenSocial, including the gadget application packaging model, and the Portable Contacts JSON schema, to power Google+ games. As we define the +Platform APIs, we are paying close attention to the future direction of the OpenSocial APIs, and converging wherever possible, the spokeswoman added.
OpenSocial APIs can be used by developers to create applications for other Google sites and services like Orkut and IGoogle.
As time passes, Google will open more of its platform to developers, in a similar fashion to Facebook’s API, which permits third parties to build the applications for the network.
Google+ was launched in June in trial mode. It was on invite only basis i.e. only those invited by Google and existing Google account members could access it. There are about 25 million Google+ users now and the number is growing every day.