Google has finally made public Google+ API’s Google+ available for developers to build apps for the fast-growing social network. Chis Chabot of Developer Relations announced the first stage of API’s, including examples of code necessary to access information and listing which coding languages developers can use to build apps. (Java, GWT, Python, Ruby, PHP, and .NET all have G+ libraries available.)
If you aren’t a developer, this is still good news because an application programming interface (API) is typically a necessary tool for anyone looking to build interesting third-party apps. Much of Twitter’s success was made possible when the company offered an API that developers could use to interact with the company’s data. That led to new third-party clients, search engines, and other features that improved Twitter’s usability faster than the company could do on its own. Introducing API’s for Google Plus will allow developers to build new products for G+ or integrate it into their existing apps. For instance, it should be easier for Klout to add Google Plus support.
Developers will still be limited even with this new access. The G+ API’s only allow access to publicly shared data, so posts shared only within a circle or limited profile information may not be completely visible (that might throw a wrench in Klout’s influence measurements).
Even with these limitations, this should go a long way in allowing creative developers to contribute more to Google Plus. We’ve already seen useful browser add-ons, so there’s no telling what is possible with greater access to public information on Google Plus.