Sunday, September 18, 2011

Google+ Unveils APIs to Developers

Google+ Platform Blog
It's officially time for Google+ to go to the next level, and they made a big first step by (finally) releasing the first documents of the Google+ API on its new Google+ Platform Blog.

The G+ team claims that this is "just the beginning" of opening up their platform to outside developers.
They clearly lay out their policies for independent developers in their blog, which is best summed up with their three primary principles: put the user first, be transparent and respect user data.

Google+ is now considerably closer to becoming a legitimate challenger for Facebook's social networking crown, although they're clearly taking it slow and practicing caution in choosing what they release at the moment.

Despite the limited release of only the public data aspects of the API, this seems to be enough to tide over the hungry developers who have been hotly anticipating the information so that they can start working with Google+.As of now, only information on public data has been, well, made public, and because it's based on open, public data, it's really easy for developers to authorize apps. Who is excited about this big news from Google+?

Let's Go Public: 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 onpublic data only — it lets you read information that people have shared publicly on Google+. For example, if you want to get my profile information, you can use the people.get method by sending the following HTTP request: 
which returns the following JSON encoded output (excerpted for brevity):
"kind": "plus#person",
"id": "108189587050871927619",
"displayName": "Chris Chabot",
"image": {
"url": ""
"organizations": [
"name": "Google+ Developer Relations",
"title": "Developer Advocate & Manager",
"type": "work"
Similarly, you can get a list of my most recent public posts by using the activities.list method:
Because we’re starting with public data only, you simply need to register your app before making requests. And if you aren't yet sure which Google+ user is running your app (for example, because they're installing it for the first time), then you can use the new OAuth2 scope to ask the user who they are.

After your application has requested this scope, you can use the special “me” identifier rather than the long numeric identifier: