API Widget Economy: Social Media Business Podcast

Episode 3 focusses on monetizing APIs and looking at revenue streams from widgets. Companies that open their business databases and stream that data out, can have an army of hundreds of thousands (mostly) unpaid developers creating Facebook apps, iPhone apps and blog widgets to help sell their products and services. Web 3.0 is “little bits everywhere” – don’t force customers to come to your site, let them do purchase your products on their site, where they are, and let their social network be informed. An overview of social media monetization revenues.

Note: you can subscribe to video on iTunes Laurel Papworth - Social Media Business - Social Media Business and also the AUDIO versionOpens in a new tab.!

API Widget Economy: Social Media Business Ep.003 from Laurel Papworth on Vimeo.

If you release data such as what products you sell, how much for, if and where they are in stock, including the address of the reseller, this can be “mashed up” into a widget application.  One popular widget was the Nintendo wii (see programmable web) mashup of available/in stock Wii’s and a Google map.

Embeddable media is critical for spreadability and distribution – YouTube is a clear example of content that is watched 30% or more of the time “off site”… through an embed on Facebook, blogs and so on.

Ebay API

eBay offers solution.ebay.com – APIs and widgets that emplower people to do distributed sales and monetize goods and services. In November 2000 they opened up the API and by 2006 had 5 billion API calls a month. 60,000 developers in 2005 creating apps using the APIs and forming an ecosystem of development. eBay increased sales by 86% in that quarter.

ebay solutions

Whether the 3rd party widgets work or not is kinda irrelevant to corporates – the developers will make it work or not.

Amazon API

Amazon and eBay dominate shopping widgets – Amazon lets you embed book widgets on your blog, and you get between 4-10% affiliate revenue. But clicking through to Amazon site is not ideal – so much nicer if you can complete the sale on site. Monetize your blog or social network site AND keep them on the page. For the member it’s a “in house” experience.

amazon API widgets

Amazon’s AWS offers merchants an “in the cloud” service including a fulfillment API.

CHART: 2008 Amazon traffic. 2005 -140,000 API developers and in 2003 made $480million in one quarter from 3rd party resellers – not all API sales but affiliates are powerful.


GetTailGate.comOpens in a new tab. makes interactive banner ads where the purchase is completed in  the wiget.

Paypal API informationOpens in a new tab. is available on their new site:

As expected, eBay’s PayPal division launched PayPal X on Tuesday, an open API designed to allow third parties to easily add payment mechanisms to their own services.According to Osama Bedie, vice president of platforms for PayPal, PayPal will help facilitate $70 billion worth of electronic transactions this year, a sizeable amount, but a drop in the bucket compared to the $30 trillion or so that consumers spend globally.

PayPal’s goal is to try and grab a larger piece of that pie, by making it easier to build in those PayPal links. An additional hook will be a lower processing fee: down to 50 cents per transaction or 0.75 percent, depending on the “use case,” executives said.

By opening up the API, eBay can allow others to drive the technology forward, eBay chief executive John Donahoe said. “Historically we’ve had gigantic global platforms, and we’ve done the developmnet work on these technologies,” Donahoe said. “No longer are we the bottleneck of innovation.”

“I believe that PayPal can be bigger than eBay because PayPal is all about online commerce,” Donahoe said.

The APIs will be housed at X.com, a development Web site first registered by eBay in 1999. The “X factor,” as PayPal president Scott Thompson, was the developer community. (Note: Podcast was before this announcement)

Alvenda.com Opens in a new tab.offers shoplets for Facebook – does the network settlement in the widget on Facebook.

Kirketon Hotel – book and pay for a hotel room

All my slides are on Slideshare.net/SilkCharmOpens in a new tab.

Salesforce.com do 30% of their revenue from APIs not on the Salesforce.com site.

Salesforce.com: Reported on their blog on Jan 8th of this year (2006) that over 40% of all of Salesforce.com traffic comes from their API.

Tesco the grocery chain, a year ago started offering an API for grocery shopping – eggs, bread and milk applications on Facebook or iPhone anyone?

And in conclusion: We love Progammable WebOpens in a new tab.!

Etsy API

Note: to be edited further on Friday when I get back from Gov in Tas and Media140 in Sydney.  For the time being, it’s up here in it’s naked glory 🙂

Social Media Business

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the episode. This Social Media Business series is available on a variety of video hosting sites such as YouTubeOpens in a new tab.SMB_podcast

Donation as Revenue – Social Media Business Ep 2 (audio)

You can also subscribe/download Social Media Business from iTunesOpens in a new tab. (launches iTunes) to your iPhone or iPod as a video.  Laurel Papworth - Social Media Business - Social Media Business

You can subscribe using the RSS feed for the Social Media Business videoOpens in a new tab. here or grab the Social Media Business audio Opens in a new tab.version.

Previous Shows

Donation as Revenue – Social Media Business Ep 2

Experiential Economy – Social Media Business Ep 1

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

15 thoughts on “API Widget Economy: Social Media Business Podcast

  1. API Widget Economy: Social Media Business Podcast http://bit.ly/wy9JZ Revenue from Paypal x.com amazon ebay etc.

  2. RT @SilkCharm: API Widget Economy: Social Media Business Podcast http://bit.ly/wy9JZ Revenue from Paypal x.com amazon ebay etc.[GR8 ARTICLE

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