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APIs: A Strategy Guide by Dan Woods, Greg Brail, Daniel Jacobson

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API Business Models for Working with Partners

With this understanding of private and public APIs in place, the chapter now explores API business models for working with partners.

Expanding Reach: More Apps, More Platforms

Developers who create apps using your API can create new business channels. By allowing partners to build apps using your API, more apps can be created, expanding your application portfolio. For example:

  • Salesforce.com has a thriving collection of applications on its AppExchange that enhance and extend the reach of its core product.

  • Twitter has more than 300,000 registered applications in various states of development.

Right now there is an explosion of mobile devices such as phones and tablets, but living room devices such as DVRs, Blu-ray players, and gaming consoles as well as public kiosks and automobiles are also driving new channels for distributing content.

Whether your company is in retail, news, entertainment, games, or any other industry, there is likely an opportunity to offer an app on at least some of these platforms. Not only do these implementations extend the brand, but they also help companies reach new audiences or the same audiences in different ways.

AccuWeather’s Chris Patti cites increased reach as an important benefit of working with partners. “Our partners create reach that we never could have had without an API,” says Patti. “And they push us to have new products that get unveiled on a platform. We’ve been able to use the API to innovate together ...

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