Pinterest announced today that it’s finally releasing an API for developers, which will enable them to build apps based on Pinterest’s user data. The news, which Pinterest announced in a blog post, is a long time coming, considering that other platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been working with developers for ages. But unlike these platforms, whose APIs have been abused by developers in the past, Pinterest is trying to take a more measured approach to third party apps. Starting today, developers can sign up for access to Pinterest’s API, but for the time being, Pinterest will only whitelist a select few.
“We’ve seen other platforms grow and shrink and do what they needed to do to moderate the community,” says Josh Inkenbrandt, the product manager leading Pinterest’s developer platform. “We wanted to be very deliberate about the APIs we designed, so they were focused on a clear value exchange between Pinterest users and developers, to make sure the incentives are aligned.”
But what will developers be able to do with this new ability? Inkenbrandt says Pinterest will be looking for apps that bring more functionality to Pinterest, which most people use today to discover new things—be they recipes, outfits, or craft projects—that they want to buy or make or save for later. With these apps, Inkenbrandt predicts it’ll become even easier for Pinners to take that next step.