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I get a lot of heat for not releasing a full write API for Google+. At SXSW I was even booed by developers in the audience when I said we were not ready to open an API. 

I've repeatedly stated the reason - I'm not interested in screwing over developers. When we open an API, we want developers to feel confident that the innovations they build are going to be long lasting. Releasing an API, and then later changing the rules of the game isn't fun for anyone, especially developers who've spent their life's energies building on the platform.

So I'm sorry that we haven't released a wide open write API for those of you who want one. We're being careful because we want to be different. You know, actually respectful of developers who build on our platform. It's novel. I know.
Mark, On June 13, 2012, at 4:30 p.m., I attended a meeting at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, California. In addition to myself, the meeting was attended by executives at Facebook with the following ...
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Don't be sorry. Thank you for taking the time and building a worthwhile service! Looking forward to further quality capabilities G+ will bring over time :)
Thanks for staying human, Vic.  It's always nice to see what your take is.
Thin rationalization, there.
Your choice is respectful, people should be more used to it
And I think the mechanism being pursued, is the right way. It is an appropriate way forward.
Hard to enjoy vindication when it is by the wrongful acts of others.
Hopefully this letter saves some developers from further predatory practices by other platforms
+Vic Gundotra I totally agree with this and I applaud you for being different and not releasing APIs that would corrupt Google+. I think that the new History API is a first step to allowing in Third Parties in a controlled manner.
+Vic Gundotra You are so much better than this - so is Google.  By referencing a negative article against just perpetuate the nonsense.  Your googlers are willing to wait, just get it right.  In addition, please put some pressure on your +Google TV team to get G+ integrated.  Thank you.
+Vic Gundotra Is there not a middle way? Release an API, albeit a skeletal one, and let developers know that it's a moving target. That way, those who want to experiment can. With full disclosure of Google's intentions, there would be no grounds for complaint.
I can totally appreciate your approach +Vic Gundotra, every platform should be so fortunate to have the resources to take this approach. However, I'm not sure any comparison of Google and you to Facebook and Zuck is valid. Facebook has done so many wrong things from it's start... exploiting members at every turn... there should be no surprise that it also has no respect for developers and would exploit them if opportunity presented as well. Keep following the right path and "Don't be evil.", members and developers trust this will bring us to the right place in partnership with Google.
This is why I think Google+ will do so well. It won't, necessarily, be in spite of Facebook. But Google seems to understand that keeping users and developers happy, in in the long run, is more important than pleasing advertisers or rushing to a feature for no reason.
One thing I'd like is to be able to properly share content on G+ with my mobile devices. Right now when you  post a link, that's all it is, a link. You don't get a pull on the article picture, title and description. 
+Vic Gundotra I agree with the blog. Hamstringing people you're supposed to be enabling is not a long term method to success. Just out of curiosity. What was the nonsense on tech crunch about earlier about G+ funding cuts?
I am not a developer, but first of all: Congratulations on execution of the Google+ project so far. Secondly: Creating proper plumbing for Google+ and later releasing it as an open source OS for the social web (kind of what Android is for mobile) would be as groundbreaking as moving from propriatory Compuserve mail to standard based internet mail. Such a system could become the backbone of an open social web but such an endeavor takes a loooooot of time. If you consider this for Google+, you have my full support. So take your time!
+Vic Gundotra Just smiling while reading. I commend you, as you probably already know. :)
And I do hope you take some of his thoughts to heart, Vic. Let G+ be infrastructure to feed Android, Search, and local, and don't let it get muddied. You'll keep your users I think because it will continue to feel like an extension of Google's services rather than a separate product.
By being "actually respectful of developers", you mean that you don't trust them to make an informed decision about whether to use an unstable API or not?
I think one has to realize that this is also a relatively young platform, and that there are still issues to be worked out in its core development.  From my experiences, +Yonatan Zunger and his team have done a wonderful job addressing these issues.  This is only a year old, and has had an unprecedented growth rate, while Google is good at quickly scaling products in terms of architecture, that does not mean features and tool sets would arrive immediately.  Taking how strategic Google is, and how carefully they are pursuing plus, it is pretty obvious there is a strategic timeline in place. Then again Google+ is more important than the social network itself, since this is becoming an integrated system that cuts across multiple products Google offers.  The API I think is probably going to reflect that, and as such, makes it even more critical to get it right.
Great job so far guys. Looking forward to a excellent API hopefully soon.
FB being "a business that has financial motivations that are not in-line with users & developers" is exactly the core problem; this is the reason why users (and devs) are betrayed time and again. Great piece.

--> Google, how do you address users' skepticism that you will not abandon your motto "don't be evil"? That you will not succumb to the lure of ruthlessly exploiting all the user data you have amassed already?
I think the problem is that we've come to expect more of our social networks, and Google+ is suffering from a perception that it isn't meeting what we now think of as basic needs from our social networks.I understand wanting to get the API right, but, let's be honest, everything Google launches, including this website, goes out in Beta and is refined based on usage. Why should the API be different?
i think that google+ seems to be best support in the informatic world
especially because world users connectied and happy to keep google+ for developpers it's more important for users so different
social network
Good decision, sound reasoning, strong leadership.
+Vic Gundotra Actually, I have personally been somewhat critical of Google for this mainly because the ablility to write to the API will increase acceptance and usage. Of course, the downside, if not done correctly is that rhe SPAM will increase.

The tough choices you get to make in your position. Definitely respect that you want to do it correctly. 
Proud Googler from Australia here, and can I just say: I enjoyed this post a lot.
+C.J. Land Thank you. Few seem to realize how beneficial it would be to Google+ in the short term to open up our write API and get more activity and engagement. It's tempting. No one seems to think about how hard it is to hold back because we are humble enough to acknowledge that haven't figured this out yet and hence it's unfair to ask developers to build on an API that is likely to change its rules. 
+Vic Gundotra I think a happy medium would be releasing the comments engine for blogs and articles to use. Maybe figure out a way to have comments posted on g+ about am article cross populate in the comments section under that article.
+Vic Gundotra. Agree 100%. The engagment that occurs on Google+ is unlike any other social platform. Look no further than +Guy Kawasaki, +Robert Scoble or +Trey Ratcliff and you quickly learn the power of real engagement.

Thank you for addressing this topic of posting to the Google API. 
I also prefer a slower but more stable growth here on G+ rather than a chaotic explosion of all kinds of 3rd party apps like on FB. I can understand that developers want to do what they do -> develop things, but this also often leads to "code first, think later". Most of the time i prefer it the other way around. I hope G+ finds a good balance between all interests here.
They are aiming at not having thousands of spamming bots, like with twitter.
Good luck! :)
As a Google+ user I really appreciate you being cautious about how you open up the platform.
That is what I like with you Google, reliability (I work with the Facebook API and it is a nightmare ...)

But please, at least release a publish post API with at least support for URI so I can make my customers move to it (I build Wordpress websites with automatic publishing on social network)

It is harder each day to move them to G+ because of that, in the mean time, they build their community elsewhere...
Build your platform from the ground up on the same API you are going to make public and you won't ever be in the position of releasing product with an API that is not ready. This is the most proven model. Your product is great but don't kid yourself, you made a mistake here.
Honesty is something I rather see than anything..... Say it like it is and continue too... In the end people will complain but in the end there is still respect...
I think that´s the right decision.
I think this just political way of saying that you guys are still not confident on google+ success 
+Vivek Kumar How are you getting that? That's not what he's saying at all. Is it a bad thing to not release product enhancements until they're sure they're ready?
+Frank Cuenca well if the entire system may fail then what is the point in investing a lot in building accessories for the system?
I am a great fan of the fact that there is no official write API (well, one can always decompile the G+ app for the inofficial one).

That is, because all the people I am following are now writing content for G+ in G+, so I get original, interesting, and well written stuff to read, instead of reading the same stuff in G+ that they are spamming into FB, Twitter and their Linkedin Statuses.

Please do not change a thing, I like it a lot the way it is, and I fear that providing a full G+ API will fundamentally change a completely nonbroken ecology here on G+.
Many of the people I know don't write content for G+ because after the Nymwars all their friends stayed on Twitter and they would have to post the same things twice. For blogging that could work but for microblogging that's a no-go. So they just don't post to G+ as their multi-protocoll clients can't support it.
Even without the open write API, Google+ has still leaped frogged over the competition.
You should be appointed as a head of Android! Current management loves beta quality too much...
Google closes API's all the time.  Google has never shown the least bit of respect for development partners.  I do not buy this corporate spin job.
With that link attached, are you saying that you are planning ads here and don't want anyone else to make profit from your platform? Because if this is a reason for not opening API, you should be honest about that, IMO.
I totally agree with you. The Google+ API must be done very carefully. The last thing we want is the influx of automatically generated spams into our newsfeed. I want it to stay "human" as it is now, that every post, every comment I see is the result of deliberate human decisions. It may not terribly efficient for all tasks, but at least it keeps the human touch.
As a Google+ user, I thank you for genuinely care about us.
+Vivek Kumar  they are already investing a lot on G+, I don´t think cost(or time) is a major issue.
Hank W
I really respect your concern for develpers, especially after hearing about all this drama regarding the Twitter API.
Understand completely. I hate it when you make a product that is closely integrated with another, and then the product you have no control over is change and break your code. It is frustrating and well it is good that Google are listening, and I do hope you guys make an API that is well thought out and open enough that you don't feel the need to retain it back in later on.
The attached link tells me that google is afraid of developers who are creating great products that could be better than the stuff that google is doing and that they have the fear to lose control.

The attached link doesn't tell anything about reliable APIs or other technical stuff. It just tells a story about the fear to make less profit.

Until now I thought that google is using g+ for tracking what the users are doing and for the valuation of pages (through the +1). Maybe google is planning to show us ads here and in the apps as well. Then I would understand why a public write API is not wanted.
Asking Google+ to add a read/write API would be similar to asking Twitter to remove the 140-character constraint which has made the platform uniquely valuable. The constraint benefits the reader because posts must be thought out when made to fit the format.
They have to open up the API but not cause too much disruption. You cannot overload G+ with all the nonsense from other products, it will make G+ very cluttered. How to manage it is very difficult and that is what Vic and the team hopefully is working on... The history API is a step in the right direction on to do things smartly, IMHO :)
+Vic Gundotra
You got booed? Firstly, those people need to chill out. It's a social network platform, not a working anti-zombie vaccine. Secondly, any sense of entitlement they have over Google's code is misplaced. They didn't pay for it and have no authority to demand a due date to this free service.
You're doing a great job.
I must say I do not agree with the comparison. The post is about closed and instable "platforms". It doesn't justify not coming out with a very simple write API as you are implying.
+Vic Gundotra Why #Google  removed the screenshot function on Adroid 4.0.4 firmware updates?Shouldn't be appropriate to tell consumers what is the pros and cons of the new firmware before we can upgrade our phones?    #SG2  
+Mabs Gadd What are you talking about? My Galaxy S2 (which I assume is your phone based on your hashtag) is running 4.0.4 and I just took a screenshot about 30 seconds ago, just to double check.

Press the home and power button at the same time and voila! :)
+Vic Gundotra  I can understand the approach, but from another perspective it does very little to drive adoption and instead gives weight to the ongoing perception that G+ is niche, closed, and not worth investing in - it gives G+ even more negative perception to overcome as and when the write API is released and "real" people can start joining the more tech-savvy early adopters in exploring it.

The desire to release a solid product with a good foundation for ongoing development and support is admirable, but Facebook and Twitter are already more entrenched and both benefitted substantially from early developer adoption - the same cannot be said of G+ in anything like the same measure.

Personally, I like G+ and I am invested in the Google ecosystem - I own multiple Android devices, use Gmail for pretty much all email, and generally use enough Google products to have thoroughly abandoned any notion of being anything other than a marketable, well segmented demographic - but G+ is still little more than a curio at this point.

As a tech lead working for a global agency and dealing with large brands and global, social projects I can say that at the moment there are significant perceptual blocks to adoption of G+, and clients are forging ahead with competing platforms - Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest... the list grows with every hot new product with an open API.
At least you take the time to explain things. It may sound like a lousy excuse to some, but you've always been honest and open about things... Unlike a few other bigwigs it a few other places I won't mention. Okay, I will... +Verizon Wireless and +***** .
This is my fear as well. The article linked is about developers who build apps that are much better than the functionality given by the core developers. Google isn't a stranger in this area of buying out great apps that are never heard from again.

I didn't understand what the big deal was either until I went trough it as a user. I can't imagine what it must feel like for those actually making the apps.
+Vic Gundotra how about releasing a document with the APIs and get developer feedback so you know what to change and/or improve? Two heads are better than one kind of thing. The developers will be the ones writing the apps so their advice would make them happier with the platform when they are opened up.
I think Google+ needs to hurry up with this API. As a developer, it's been the biggest let down. I was hugely passionate about G+ when it started, but it still lacks so many useful, simple and obvious features. Sure, when (and if) you do open up a useful API there will be some activity, but you have missed the 'passion peak' with me and many others.

Also the fact that we're forced to use your own over-stylised candy mobile clients means I simply do not want to use it on the move.

You really missed an opportunity for the Olympics by not having an API ready in time too.
You should release something. Buy not releasing anything, how on Earth do you expect to get any useful feedback and proper testing done at all?  Or do you think you'll eventually release something so perfect that every developer will love it and nothing will break or change when it actually gets used by more than a few lucky inside partners? Get real. It's not rocket science. We developers have pretty thick skin.

I don't buy any of this spin for a minute any more.
Hmmm... Admittedly, I'm surprised that it's taking Google this long to release the API. I can't imagine why it would take this long. I think people imagine that a company with Google's resources could have delivered the API by now, if it wanted to enough. Although personally it hasn't reached the stage yet where I question Google's commitment to this project.
vic, your approach is best all around: best for end users, for developers, for google. most responsible approach. don't listen to the haters. think carefully about the API. thanks for your honesty and your effort towards this outstanding product. 
IMHO Vic is absolutely correct.  Only release an API when you are incredibly confident that it is stable.  You will be wrong.  It will change anyway.  But no matter how smart the Google team - and they are obviously extremely smart - they can't possible abstract with confidence from the limited use cases and current immature rapidly evolving functionality. It would be a crazy hostage to fortune to release unstable APIs.  If he got booed SXSW for not releasing them, he would probably be stoned to death if he released them and they changed radically, which is perfectly possible.  Defining APIs is extremely difficult.  Give them time.  You know it makes sense.  :)
Thanks for the straight-forward update +Vic Gundotra . Having developed on Twitter's API, I am very aware of the "changing the rules of the game" concept. I really hope your "doing the right thing" approach doesn't lead to the long-term failure of G+ - given that others appear to have adopted a "let's build the audience any way we can and worry about the details later" approach. Will watch (participate!) with interest.
Personally, I understand the wait in releasing the G+ API. You have G+ which is in a constant state of flux with new capabilities added on a regular basis and +-70 or so properties that you are integrating. Plus you have to prevent the sort of data leaks that Facebook is notorious for. Take your time ... just not to much :)
+Vic Gundotra I support the idea of getting a STABLE API out there... but not having ANY stable API at all at this point may smell of a product that's hacked together.
Do I care? No! Heck if it passes tests... it's working! 
I don't have that kinda luxury in Healthcare IT though so I envy web-dev ;)
As both a developer and a user, I can appreciate that.

Talking from experience, building an API is one thing, but supporting it properly is immensely more work than it is to build it. There is a lot of open platforms out there (without naming them) that have lacking documentation, poor developer support and/or deficient release system (e.g.: removing functionality outright instead of deprecating it).

This is a field in which Google stands out from my experience, and I'd like it to stay that way. 
Hey +Daria Huddy first of all please stop yelling: writing in all-caps has been bad style for twenty-five years already, so get with the times.
Second, if you want to mention people, put a plus before their name -- learn to use Google+ please. Thank you, especially for not yelling.
What does the open API do? What can it enable? Just for my general education ...
There is a major advantage of having the API come "late". Developers would be able to build products that would suit Google+ and not rush to create half-baked apps like those on Facebook
Ooh stay classy Vic, you're doing great with G+ but badmouthing the competition is NOT good practise...
not sure I buy this excuse, I mean if that were true, why the Events debacle? :)
I think it's a poignant example. 
+Vic Gundotra I see your point. I once worked very hard to learn how to write fb apps only to see fb alter its api so much shortly afterward that my apps became useless. I remember when Twitter, after having so much of its success due to 3rd party developers, announced that it would discourage 3rd party projects.

What I hope is that the Google API team are thinking in terms of "ecosystem" for the API. If so, we will see businesses and fortunes built upon that ecosystem. It will be awesome!
Boom goes the dynamite.
On a different note, why is Google retiring iGoogle?
You were booed? I can only hope the boos were made halfheartedly and weren't really meant seriously because if they were, that would be quite harsh. Especially when it's done to someone like you whose whole demeanor screams "always nice and polite". If you had just announced closing an API that people rely upon I could understand it, tempers get hot sometimes, but in this case there just isn't anything that should get people that upset. It's disappointing that we have to wait a bit longer, yes, who doesn't want something new to play with, but certainly nothing that warrants that amount of negativity.
As much as I want the APIs I'm glad you guys are taking your time to do it right. So far G+ has been a phenomenal product because you guys are thinking it through and taking all the steps to make sure it makes for a great experience. APIs are a very important piece of the puzzle and have to flushed out. Keep up the good work, we'll be here when you guys are ready.
+Vic Gundotra 
I'm so glad that you guys are carefully with the APIs. Application and RSS Spam in the Timelines of people on Facebook and Twitter are the reason why I love G+ so much. 

G+ is clean and people think about that they post and which people they share it with. If there would be a simple writing API like Twitter or FB has G+ would turn into the same mess. 

Thinks I thought might be work:
1) Just allow writing to the history API so people still have to share every single item manually to their circles


2) make an extra stream for stuff which comes through the writing API and give us an option when we circle people to just circle the "real" G+ stream or to also circle their API stream. Maybe with an additional little switch to hide posts from this API stream in general sometimes as well.
Thank you for your honesty and it's nice to see someone sticking to their principles and building a quality product. 
That's the way things should be done. Getting it right takes time, and that's OK.
I supported a platform and its ecosystem from its birth and rise to the recent burning more than over a decade.

Google were know for Beta products like Gmail. There is a so called closed beta for APIs under development as tool on some platforms. It means things can be done without disrespect to the community. APIs could be broken as life goes on anyhow. Future can be researched but to be well prepared would take huge amount of effort. That why it not called present or near future.  On the other hand APIs depends on design, if they are simple enough no meaning to change them later :) A swiss army knife design won't take much iteration over the years, so some version does have usb and so on. So please take the time to make the API more simple before open it and that would help make it more future proof.

 Limiting the 3rd party innovation on your product by closed(hacking only) APIs is a brave move! Respect.

Having a poor G+ experience and integration on my Samsung Focus is my personal problem. :) I can always open my Macbook. :) or share my images taken by my mobil camera somewhere more convenient place. Even with closed API an official client would mean a nice and brave gesture.
Yes, don't be a twitter.  Piggy back on developer's back then pull the rug from under them once you're on top.
You invited us over to play with your awesome toys (for free)..... what's to complain about?
Yayy for different!! I like your style and wonderful business ethics.
Well Said +Vic Gundotra , +Dalton Caldwell  developers do not deserve to be taken advantage of. I have learned enough coding at this point to want to start drinking everytime I see a coding
Google retiring beta products is OK.

But when Google retires iGoogle (not in beta) and doesn't even bother to speak out regarding about the future of the Gadget API (their implementation of "open social" which was used in iGoogle and is still used in Google Sites and other products... but unused in Google+) it really show how little Google cares about developers. This is not old news, this happened just last month.

Google is going all out on Google+ but so far it's not such a vibrant ecosystem, that all developers would jump onboard. So why build on it? And if it ever becomes one, then you'll have to look out for Google behaving exactly like Facebook. Remember Google Maps API suddenly getting quotas? It's always the same bait and switch game...

Just like there are Terms of Services, I think platforms should state clearly what is their policy and give strong and lasting guaranties to build developers trust. "Don't be evil" remember? Transparency is key to developers. A platform is like a stock-market: it only works if the rules are the same for everyone, if it's transparent, with no insider trading.
Are you kidding me? Remember Buzz? How about limiting the Google  Maps APIs ... Every company does what's in it's best interest, but let's not be hypocrites. 
+Vic Gundotra you're doing the right thing.

I especially like how you addressed how you don't want to screw over developers who have spent their life's energies on developing on the platform. That is their livelihood at stake and I trust that you're making the right decision.
+Vic Gundotra I've given up maintaining +G+ Notifier because it's been a year, and we can't even do something as simple as get an integer number of notifications. Despite what Googlers seem to think, outside of Google Campus, everyone doesn't live in Google Chrome (or a Chromebook). I tried to help Google+ grow by creating something to sit in the Windows systray and alert people of notifications, causing them to come back. However, it's been too long to justify > 100MB of RAM hosting a hidden browser just to achieve this. It would probably take less time than I've spent on +G+ Notifier for you to add this simple numeric figure to the authenticated API. There's simply no good excuse for taking this long.
Who cares about a full write API, when you guys STILL haven't offered a proper read API. Everyday interest in G+ declines across all my clients.  You are indeed missing the 'passion peak', for g+ app development and integration.  If you guys don't get working on the G+ API soon, I fear/expect Facebook and others will open up circle style APIs and there will be even fewer reasons to invest in G+ development.
I do hope you guys create a solid API and then stick to it. We've been having fun with Google Website Optimizer being discontinued and GMC changing continuously. Unfortunately I have little confidence that any 'Social' APIs will be non-competitive or free, stable, or open-standards based long-term.
Of our 100 or so Integrations between our Affino and other platforms, 10 or so are with Google, and half have improved this year whilst half have become more restricted or been killed off. The correlation is clearly with financial benefits to Google in each case, which is to be expected, so we would expect the same for the G+ APIs.
While your stance on API is a bit frustrating (I'd love G+ integration via other apps), I completely agree that things need to be done right.
Agree with most of the posters here. Do not compare yourself with other competitors- do things slowly and do it well. G+ has become more awesome over time and I regularly use this forum to talk to close family and friends. Integrating this with google TV and APIs for developers will take it to next level. Keep up the good work.
Totally understand, there is nothing like breaking the SDK after releasing it; then need to waste time supporting compatibility between SDK versions. It is best to get it right and run it for a while internally and once everybody are happy, to release it. 
I like it this way. The last thing we need is for it to become an automated dumping ground. Take your time and get it right.
I think some earlier commenters got it right. The question is as much about whether there will ever be a way to write to the stream through the API. I'll wait because I think this is a potentially great platform and once it can be incorporated into my normal workflow I could easily be more active over here. But I'll hang up the towel now on Google+ if we get a clear answer that writing can't happen from the outside.

Great tools like IFTTT, great sites/services like Pinboard, and great applications like Reeder effectively being locked out of a social network is just not the way to go.
We can't re-share comments on here, but +Mark Lucovsky's answer is wrong. I completely agree with +Vic Gundotra's take on this... because if people take away the value from being here, we can't know how much it's worth. This is why they aren't really monetizing it yet.

Facebook tried putting a dollar sign on what people's time was worth. Now it's Google's turn, and that's perfectly fine.

They may be the ones to build the perfect network yet

But the answers aren't all on here yet. We're connecting slowly.

To a bittersweet truth.

Connecting irony... to the value of money. The sad truth is, our time is worth nothing, unless we make content of value. 

That was (and still is) the hope +Euro Maestro and myself discussed hours on end. That our time was worth something. If you want humanity to use you as its content stream, what are you giving them? 

Right now, you give us each other. People who value logic, and #commenting code properly. People who value integrity above all else... well not always, and that's why you have a strong community.

Didn't have autosave installed on this computer btw, so originally put that on my wall... now in order to prevent losing everything i wrote it in notepad and am too lazy to fix it.
Business translation: Google wants to figure out how to make money with Google+ first, and then leave the leftovers for developers...  That is the mistake FB and Twitter made - they provided an API before they figured out how to earn a living, and now they're clamping down...  Instead, Google will carve out the most lucrative territory for itself preemptively...  

That is a smart business strategy, for sure, but nothing more...  In my view, Vic's moral defense of Google's strategy rings hollow...
+Vic Gundotra  The problem is that it's been over a year and there is no communication or visible progress.  You put us on waiting lists - you have our email addresses.  You could start cherry picking more suitable organizations to let into the API programs.  Instead, a bare handful of companies have been given access in all this time, and the rest of us (even those with a substantial user base clamoring for access) are left in the cold to wonder.
I absolutely agree with +Christina Trapolino . Thanks for staying human. And even I do agree that some devs made some points here on this post, as a dev experience or an user experience I prefer to see something stable and long lasting.
Thank for all the work you put in Google+.
Todd B
So basically you are saying you want to figure out the boundaries and limitations so that you later don't have to redefine them them later when some 3rd party out thinks you?

I think that's another way of saying you are just trying to figure out the key advantages that having such a platform might give you, then determining how to make sure those parts are not open enough for anyone to use them effectively. 

Same strategy different tactics, and it won't work because someone will come along and develop something you have not thought through well enough, then you will be forced to either court them or try and crush them. 

It's pretty common knowledge that a platform companies best market research is done by 3rd party developers, maybe you think you can game that but it won't work.

You can of course also simply let Facebook, Twitter, etc play that role and parallel their progress but you won't actually win using that tactic since both of your will continue to constrict innovation until you are Pepsi and they remain Coke. (maybe not a bad thing from a BigCo perspective)   

Or you could do something bold and actually produce an open platform without competitive constraints ... LOL 
+Mark Lucovsky You got a great point. Like you said.. whatever happened to the Google Search/AJAX API? Oh right, it was curtailed because it didn't serve their interests, yet I know many developers would love to have access to it (even pay for it). 

+Ken Sanders You're right as well. It's all business at the end of the day. Hard to believe someone in Google who doesn't know who I am cares about making sure my needs as a developer is taken care of. 

Those who want the Google+ API desperately are the social media integration businesses - the Hootsuites, the Buffers, and the social CRM's of the world. These guys could care less if you change the rules halfway. They just want access to it now, and they'll change their strategy/code/whatever whenever you change theirs (same with how Twitter changed their rules in the past). For everyone else, we might benefit from waiting.

I'm not sure why Twitter, and to a lesser extent Google doesn't charge for API access. To me, mining the data in all these networks is much more useful financially to businesses (ie stock trends, content trends, people search, etc), than showing an ad that 1% of people will click on. Look at SEOMoz, they charge an arm and a leg for their data, and lots of people hand them the cash because it's just so valuable.
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