With all the love in the air this week, there was no french kiss for Google Maps API. A recent French commercial court ruled that the free Google Maps API is anti-competitive. The court ordered Google to pay 500,000 euros. The money is clearly not the point, but rather how other countries are viewing evolving technology. Bottom line: APIs create new consumption points for all types of companies, not just tech companies. New consumption points for customers + businesses => user growth => revenue. Is the free API really anti-competitive? It will be interesting to see if other countries draw the line on “freemium” and paid APIs.
Google does have a Google Maps API for Business, which you pay for. Google has about 96 APIs, the most popular being Google Maps. More and more companies are opening their doors by adding APIs and it will be as commonplace as owning an email address.
I’m seeing API documentation in more languages – French, German, Spanish, etc. This encourages developers in other countries to build on platforms and know exactly what to do with the APIs. Check out this 2010 YouTube interview with Facebook’s Christian Hernandez, Head of International Business Development in France talking about the platform for developers and the point of consumption within Facebook. (poor lighting, but sound quality good)