APIs · Pinterest

Will Pinterest be a powerful developer platform?

Eleanor Carman Incoming BLP Sales Associate at LinkedIn

May 4th, 2015

I saw pinterest just announced a true developer platform http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/04/at-long-last-pinterest-is-opening-up-to-developers/. They aren't "open" - they have a whitelist and in the past really cracked down on any third-party development. Do you think Pinterest will be able to build a powerful platform that has thriving ecosystem this way and what are some of the apps you think could be "killer apps"?

George Lambert Interim CTO - CTO's for Hire

May 4th, 2015

Short answer - "NO" they are using it as a "Marketing Term" to communicate that they are opening up an API for custom extension. I would expect the user experience to be like the original iphone experience - Very Very Limited or turn into something like "MySpace" very quickly - full of security exploits and risk.

What would be a killer apps? Depends on the implementation of their security and sharing models. It does have the potential to create rich communities of common interest around specific topics if someone does it right. But I was unable to login to the link that you shared - so it does not make me optimistic at first glance.

A "Developer Platform" is defined as:

The computer on which the software is being written. Sometimes, the term is even narrowly down to the tool(s) running on that computer. For example, your PC or notebook as a development platform (running Windows or MAC, UNIX, etc). Or Eclipse as the development platform to write Java or any other programs.

George Lambert Interim CTO - CTO's for Hire

May 4th, 2015

Note that SnapChat just disabled it's 3rd party app access. 

http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/2/8335917/snapchat-transparency-report-third-party-app-access 

In my opinion:

Pinterest unfortunately is moving forward to be a store, so obviously they will copy the cool ideas from third-party developments and implement the ideas into their system.

They will shut down third-party access if the third-party companies does not follow their rules.

Pinterest will be able to build a powerful platform (just give them time), furthermore, the third-party actions/integration methodologies will be tracked by Pinterest on their platform and they will be able to make a reference/analysis of the most used/interesting actions/integrations.

They without a doubt will have more control over the whole process/action/integration of each third-party app, and they will be able to cut the access to third-party companies that does not follow their constantly changing policies or business plans.

The worst Scenario: they can create pay developers plans, If you pay you will have more developed methods, more interactions per minute, specific methods to Pinterest Store management, multiple store account access or similar things.