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[foo] Toni Schneider – Opening up Yahoo

Toni was at Oddpost, which was acquired by Yahoo a year ago. Oddpost had had to re-invent familliar backend pieces and would have preferred to have used Yahoo mail’s backend. “That was the beginning of the idea of opening up Yahoo more, creating the API’s.”

The first objection was abuse. Second: Rights. But “the lawyers and content providers are beginning to understand these issues.” In terms of terms of use: the APIs are open to anyone without restrictions, but when you hit a certain limit on the number queries, “you have to come talk to us”: How many queries do you need? Commercial or non-commercial? Would you put a “Powered by Yahoo” sticker on your site? Are you violating our terms of service, e.g., we don’t like metasearch apps. E.g., Voltage Networks built an anti-phishing toolbar; when you go to a url, it sees if it shows up in the Yahoo search index. If not, it flags the site. Voltage Networks gets a high query limit from Yahoo and put in a Yahoo search box.

The search APIs already get about a million queries a day from several hundred apps. They’re working on opening up Yahoo Calendar and Yahoo Maps. Yahoo Local is already open. [How about putting Yahoo Local data onto Google maps?]

“95% of our services are REST based” — Keeping it simple instead of over-engineering the APIs. “The deciding facto for us was the Amazon quote that 80% of their users are on REST and 80% of their support is for SOAP.”

The most exciting stuff coming up may be around mail, calendar and address book. He says it’s not a bout grand portals any more but about branded micro-content. [foo] Toni Schneider – Opening up Yahoo

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