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Google+ API launches for public data

September 20, 2011

Google has launched the first iteration of their new Google+ API, and it's built on REST, JSON, and OAuth.

The new API was announced on the Google+ Platform blog thusly:

Google+ gives users full control over their information, supporting everything from intimate conversations with family to public showcases and debates. This initial API release is focused on public data only — it lets you read information that people have shared publicly on Google+.

The announcement provides several example API calls, including getting a user's public profile and retrieving their most recent public posts.  For more information on all of the API capabilities, click here to access the accompanying developer site including Google+ API documentation.

The announcement goes on to discuss how this first API release uses RESTful HTTP requests and JSON responses, standard payload formats, and OAuth 2 for secure access to user data such as which user is using the app.  It also links to libraries for languages including Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, and more.  Read the post for full details.

So what are developers saying about this first release?  Honestly, many aren't terribly impressed with the limited functionality available in this release.  Something's better than nothing, but by not allowing any access to information a user has marked as private to one or more of their Circles, Google has effectively neutered their API out of the gate.  It seems clear that a future release of the API must include access to Circles for the API to be viable long term.

What do you think about the Google+ API?  Useful web API goodness, or an irrelevant API for an also-ran social service? 

Please leave a comment on the complete post with your thoughts.


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